I have a monastic practice based on ritual. I consider my art practice to be holistic. Meaning, I consider my art practice to be open ended, and not based on finished outcomes, where the possibility of failure could be seen as a potential to experiment and critically reflect rather than something to be avoided at all costs. My studio is my sanctuary. It is a place where I escape from the world and its neoliberal achievement agenda. It is a place where I can liberate my body and spirit from the constraints of normative societal values and codes of behaviour.

 

American Poet CA Conrad explains their somatic poetry ritual practice as an investigation of “that seemingly infinite space between body and spirit by using nearly any possible thing around or of the body to channel the body out and/or in toward spirit with deliberate and sustained concentration.”[1] For me, this channelling of the body takes place through playfulness. I have an array of devices in my studio which I use in order to create a mythic space where I can create feelingly.

 

Lighting is an important aspect of my work, through the use of different coloured lights and or candles, I can attempt to awaken my spirt in order to attain a different state of consciousness. For the first action lab, I was exploring shadow work, a process which involves investigating the hidden and or repressed aspects of oneself.

 

The voice is another medium which I am interested in playing with. I am interested in using my voice in ways that escape the constraints of human psychology and language. Thus, using the voice as an instrument or a tool to commune with the spiritual realm. For the second action lab, I was roaming around the space chanting, using a cordless microphone attached to a voice transformer device, as well as tuning into any ghostly spectre from the acoustic atmosphere.

 

Image making is another important component of my practice. I am interested in the making of a self-portrait as a form of seance, a performance in its own right. While playing with different lights and costumes, I will try to induce myself into a state of trance through ecstatic movement. I am interested in escaping my own sense of self thereby embodying different characters and tapping into their powers. Thus, my digital camera becomes a divination tool to access visions of another possible worlds. For the last action lab, I was performing this private ritual in public.



[1] CA Conrad, CAConrad’s Somatic Poetry Exercises, http://writing.upenn.edu/~taransky/somatic-exercises.pdf Date last accessed 08/01/202

 

 

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