Viveka: the radiance of discernment
Solo exhibition at the Seymour Public Art Gallery in Vancouver, BC, Canada in 2017. Created with a Visual Arts Grant from the BC Arts Council. Exhibited also as part of the Hold, Being Held exhibition at the Comox Valley Art Gallery on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada in 2019.
Drawing on research from current neuroscience, psychology and ancient philosophy, Viveka uses abstract expressionism and sculptural installation to explore the benefits of stillness and observation. The result is a multi-sensory exhibit designed as a response to the collective and palpable yearning within us to find a small reprieve from the tyranny of time.
Stillness is not just about quiet, but also about the pause, about the space between sounds and thoughts. “Hear the presence,” as Sound Ecologist Gordon Hempton writes. This concept is central to the exhibit; silence and stillness are highlighted as essential counterpoints to our modern-day rush of endless stimulus, distraction and constant motion.
With over 550 components in a carefully designed installation, Viveka invites the viewer to slow down and engage with the show in an immersive environment and to play with the lived experience of presence and pause. Sculptural objects fill a variety of surfaces in the gallery space – ceiling, walls and floor – and a discordant pattern of water drops fall onto marimba keys, creating a simple soundscape that acts as an interruption to, and permeation of the silence in the gallery.
In addition, the specific variations of the forms themselves, in surface and texture, and the ways in which they are arranged in installations throughout the gallery, simultaneously highlight the subtle, microscopic level of observation and the larger, macroscopic experience of stepping into the exhibit as a whole.
This immersive quality of the show is essential. My intention is to bring space and silence into the foreground through calling attention to the dynamic interplay of positive/negative spaces inside, between and surrounding the forms in the gallery. I aim to create a space of contemplation where silence and presence can become an embodied object of observation within the visual narrative. I am curious as to whether this brief pause, the experience of the oppositional nature of subject/object becomes blurred, just for a moment.
A 45 second clip of the sound component to the exhibition. The water drops on a 4 minute loop with 1 minute of silence.