What if we didn’t have a word for day and a word for night – if we didn’t split our understanding into two apparent opposites? What if instead, we paid close attention to the subtle qualities of certain moments throughout the 24 hour cycle; the period just as the moon appears over the horizon, the moment the temperature drops before the dawn, or the changing light as rainclouds obscure the sun. What happens when we immerse ourselves in an unfamiliar environment? What is it about stepping into the unknown that simultaneously embodies hope and fear, dreams and terrors? Can we map our experience of night and day in the way we map the earth and the night sky?
Jessica Brooke Anderson and Ellis Hutch have created a contemplative installation of screen prints, drawings and artist books made whilst working as Artists in Residence at Megalo Print Studio and Gallery. Their work has been created in response to a recent journey into the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. Their research site – the rich and fascinating Arkaroola Station – is a wilderness area marked by stunning ridges of sedimentary rock and alive with the stories of the original Indigenous inhabitants and marked by the complicated history of colonial settlement.
Into this environment the artists have brought their own interests in how humans encounter unfamiliar spaces, how we respond to the environment around us and view it through our existing lenses. Learning to navigate the physical landscape we question our individual identities, our relationships with our surroundings and the layers of cultural and social conditioning that can both aid us and blinker our ability to perceive.
About the artists
Ellis Hutch (AUS) and Jessica Anderson (USA) had their first conversation on a snow-covered road in rural Finland. As they walked they discovered mutual interests in mindfulness, embodied practice and practice-based research. Since that meeting at the Arteles Creative Centre where they were both undertaking artist residencies around the theme of Silence, Existence, Awareness; Ellis and Jessica have continued their dialogue and are investigating their intersecting interests through a process-based collaboration.
Image: Ellis Hutch, Dreams and Terrors (installation detail), 2016; image courtesy of the artist