Done with watercolours and acrylics on watercolour paper, size is a bit bigger than A6. Incoming essay, beware.
Umbra: Penumbra: Antumbra - Brodie Ellis
I recently saw the Biennale of Sydney, which is an annual contemporary art festival, staged in several locations and encompassing every medium you could think of.
There is this island off the harbour in Sydney called Cockatoo Island, which is a former convict-built prison and shipyard. It's like Alcatraz. Or Shutter Island. So for anyone with an imagination it's really creepy, and it's one of the venues of the Biennale. It's murderer material. My friend and I got separated from the rest of the group and wanderd the island on our own, going through mines and dark, rusty rooms on a quest for art. Ther majority of works were video and/or sculptural installations. It was all very cool and edgy. It was also pouring rain....
We eventually worked our way to the edge of the island and cautiously (it was never quite clear if something was part of the exhibition or was going to contain an axe-weilding psychiatric escapee) entered a large, blacked out warehouse.
At first we could see nothing, but immediately apparent was the atmospheric Sigur Ros-like music that was at once loud and engulfing, but also uncomfortably soothing. Our eyes slowly adjusted and we could see in front of us one large circular screen lying flat on the floor, projections playing on top.
In the middle of the warehouse was a large circular metal sculpture - a circular frame held in place with several bars that came to a point behind it.
Finally, on the back wall of the warehouse was another large circular screen. The images projected on it seemed like abstract clouds and shadows, light and branches. Greys and whites and dull blues and browns. It felt like we had stumbed onto an alien spaceship. In the future.
We were the only ones in there so we decided to immerse ourselves in it, standing inside the sculpture and watching the screens, alternating between that on front and behind us. It was truly beautiful and we just got lost in the music and the experience. THEN
as the music came to a deafening crescendo, and the rain came down harder, we both spontaneously broke out into primal dancing! Totally unexpected! It was an intense sensory experience one of those moments that you could feel but never properly describe. It was just an experience
, something every installation artist wants you to have. Touched by the sublime. I could go back, or tell someone else to go, and it might never be the same. That's the beauty of it.
Anyway, I was inspired so much by that experience I decided to paint it. Or an interpretation of it, heh. I was thinking of astral projection. The title is the same as the installations', which was by Melbourne artist Brodie Ellis.Follow me on Facebook for a more compelling and rich Simanion experience: www.facebook.com/simanion