The concept behind my installation piece was to create an environment that I feel reflects my state of mind. I wanted to create an enclosed comforting space that makes the viewer feel safe and secure, as I typically feel comfortable in my own mind. However I wanted something in the space that symbolises my existing emotional issues that I feel hold me back. Although I’d describe myself as an optimistic and content person, I do have personal issues always present that I try my best to keep contained so they don’t affect the positive things in my life. I wanted my installation to allow the viewer to walk into the space and grasp a sense of my state of mind. I would like the creation of this piece to be cathartic and help me cope with being emotionally vulnerable by allowing people to walk into a space that reflects how I feel.
Initially when I tried to visualise what this space would look like I pictured darkness, which is calming to me. I knew that I wanted to incorporate a subtle use of light either as a symbolic element or a tool to create an atmosphere. I also wanted to use some form of natural object, either plants or branches to represent emotions and memories, the parts of your mind that define who you are through your vulnerabilities and experiences.
The installation space I was allocated is a small square room with two doors on adjacent walls. The space was very suitable for my concept, as I wanted an enclosed space that the viewer could walk into. The structure of the space allowed me to dress the walls rather than have to construct some which was beneficial in terms of time efficiency and convenience. Although my installation evolved a few times I had a good idea of what materials and elements I wanted to include which gave me a clear sense of direction with where I wanted to take my installation.
I found that blacking out the space gives the right level of darkness and comfort to my piece that I wanted to create. The space allocated to me is spacious enough for my piece to not feel claustrophobic as the viewer can walk freely through the space and look through the partitions.
The partitions I created are representative of emotional walls, my emotional limitations and struggles. By cutting holes into them for the viewer to look through I am allowing myself to be vulnerable and for them to see the elements of myself that define me. Behind the partitions are the branches that I have suspended in view and have light shining down on them. On one side of the room I have constructed two partitions and behind them I have a red light to symbolise my personal issues and the negative thoughts and memories I harbour. I placed the negative element behind multiple partitions to represent how I keep some of my issues private in fear of feeling vulnerable. Opposite I have a single partition, behind which I have hung branches doused in white light. This represents the positive parts of myself I feel I do not have to keep guarded but I still keep withheld. I feel that the symbolism of this part of my installation is effective and simple enough to be universal for the viewer, so they can come to an understanding of my concept or perhaps project their own feelings onto my piece. I find my use of lighting to be effective; the connotations of positive and negative are clear through colour psychology and association.
I considered using audio in my piece but chose not to as I feel that our minds are quiet apart from our thoughts and by leaving my piece without audio I am allowing the viewer to listen to their thoughts while they look at my piece. I wanted the piece to be an expression of my state of mind but also to be a sensory experience that allows the viewers to be with their own mind.
Overall I feel that my piece does what I was aiming for it to do, the light in the darkness has an atmospheric effect and may provoke the feelings I am trying to express to the viewer. I have enjoyed working with installation; it was a cathartic experience to express myself through recreating my mind externally.