“Everything is connected and everything is related. All nature, every planet in the galaxy, this universe or even the multi-universe, everything has a relationship.” – Mariko Mori
Mariko Mori and James Turrell are two artists that I’ve been interested in lately. What piques my interest in their work is their use of light and installation – particularly in Turrell’s work, where he uses light as a main part of a piece’s architecture. With both Mori and Turrell, the end results are immersive, multi-sensory works that actively encourages interactions between viewer and piece (and by proxy, viewer and artist).
I’ve been increasingly drawn to that style of work in my practice, which is why I decided to use visualisations in my own work. I love how multi-sensory works basically demands you to pay attention. I love how one of Turrell’s works actually comes with a warning on the disorientating intensity of the experience – Akhob, a permanent installation in Las Vegas, is a room with no apparent edges (thereby eliminating any depth sensation) and features a circle of bright, shifting light as its centre.
Plus, at heart I’m a child who likes bright, shiny things. I can’t help myself.
It might sound amusingly ironic that I’m talking about making intense, loud art while I’m being based in a quiet rural village, but here me out. It does make sense, with a little thinking. Here in Bogong, it is anything but quiet out here. If you stand in the forest for a few minutes, the cacophony of the forest is all-enveloping – from the birds to the insects to the frogs to the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves and the water cutting through the rocks.
It’s not quiet in the slightest.
The cacophony of the forest also reminds me that everything in the forest – and on a broader level, everywhere else – are inter-connected. The trees act as a home for some creatures, who act as food for other creatures, who get eaten by yet more creatures. Then they die, and become nutrients for the trees, and so on and so forth.
So it goes.
Eckhart Tolle had an apt quote to describe this cycle: “Death isn’t the opposite of life. Death is the opposite of birth. Life is eternal”.
That quote isn’t meant to be morbid – more like, a reminder that life keeps going on, no matter what happens to individual creatures. There’s never a definitive “end” for anything, because time doesn’t work like that. As some branches of metaphysics have speculated, time is circular.
My time at Bogong is up, and I’ve had a wonderful time up here in the mountains. However, that’s not the end – it’s just the start of another phase. The work that I’ve done at Bogong will continue to have a life, in the form of future exhibitions and performances. BCSC will welcome another cohort of artists in residence. They will create work for future exhibitions and performances.
The trees will continue to give life and shelter. Creatures will eat each other. Creatures will die and offer their bodies to the trees.
The rivers will continue to flow.
So it goes.