Nomadic Mind, 2017
Experiri Exhibition May 2017, collaborative exhibition with Lindsay Elise Jolly
“A state of consciousness is characteristically very transitory; an idea that is conscious now is no longer so a moment later, although it can become so again under certain conditions that are easily brought about.”
Freud, Sigmund and James Strachey (Translator). The Ego and the Id. 1923.
Looking at the notion of the nomadic mind, this work considers the displacement of life experience, stored as memory data, and its movement from the conscious mind to the long-term memory bank. This amazing filing system can retrieve encapsulated records of experience ‘in the blink of an eye’, and is so highly sensitive to the most fleeting of sensations, triggered by a faint smell or a distant sound. Our individual response to happenings and our reflections upon them, shape us and uniquely affect our physical and spiritual development.
By hand crafting, the work alludes to this uniqueness of personal experience. Two people may encounter exactly the same experience, but their memory of that moment, and its affect upon them, will not be exactly the same.
Constructed by knitting threads of many materials with two simple sticks, the woven canopy is irregular in every way. The creative process meaningfully conducted in a state of mindfulness, allows the stitches to form unplanned and unpredicted patterns and textures. There are holes and spaces, transparencies and opaqueness, allowing lighter thoughts and memories to move in and out, and gently corralling the bigger experiences and distilled perception of events.
A steel network underpins the canopy, with ladders reaching up and down suggestive of connective systems and the mind’s function to store experience and retrieve information. The contrasting soft woolen threads and hard steel rods, express the converse strength and fragility both of human emotions and the human body. Threads are left hanging, where memories could be added to and allude to the transient characteristics of conscious thought.
‘Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.’
‘Mindfulness is a kind of non-elaborative, nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, or sensation that arises in the attentional field is acknowledged and accepted as it is.’
Bishop et al. (2004:232)