|Place of Publication||SOLO EXHIBITION: 19 April – 24 June 2013 Brantwood, Cumbria, UK. Cinematic video installation of Mirror. The film is displayed in the context of eight paintings and drawings by John Ruskin selected by Emma Rose from the Ruskin Collection. A catalogue with critical essays is published alongside the exhibition. FESTIVAL SELECTION AND SCREENINGS: Imagine Science Film Festival. Mirror, Boynton & Rose, 4’. New York, 8th – 16th November. Screened in New York Hall of Science, New York, USA, 10th November 2012. Brooklyn Film Festival. Mirror, Brooklyn, New York, USA, 1st – 10th June. Indie-screen, 4th June 2012 Brooklyn Heights Cinema 9th June 2012.|
|Media of output||DVD|
|Size||3’33”, .mov, H.264, 1280 x 720|
|Exhibition||Brooklyn Film Festival|
|Period||1/06/12 → 10/06/12|
For the benefit of health, wellbeing and quality of life
The film Mirror begins from the premise that certain landscapes have the capacity to provide therapeutic benefits. The idea stems from well-established theories of art and culture, and developmental and clinical psychology. In particular, the project is informed by the concept of mentalisation in psychoanalytic theory (Fonagy 1991) linked to ideas concerned with art, culture and the self.
The film explores the idea that the face of nature, made visible in the representation of landscape, can be treated as that of a quasi-person with whom the viewer interacts to establish a relationship with potential to enhance emotional self-awareness and empathic capacity. The engagement with nature as a self-other is a key concept in understanding how a viewer might develop a therapeutic engagement with landscape.
For many people external forms of nature find an echo in the heart, the objective world connects to make affective traits recognizable within. The imagination facilitates Interpretation of natural phenomena as recognizable self-states. It explicitly involves finding meaning in behaviour or visual and other sensory images. The landscape and natural phenomena engage the imagination in metaphorical thinking to create interpretations of felt-states, applicable to the emotions of others. This experience is enhanced by the representation of nature in the film.
Considerations of Method
The video presents images captured by cameras positioned in the snow-capped peaks of the French Alps over a period of four months.
The cameras were placed in three different positions: one in an alpine rescue hut, two in a ski station, the first of these on the highest apartment block looking toward a ridge, and the other looking across a frozen lake toward a valley. Each was placed in order to give different perspectives on one mountain range, providing an experience that could not be achieved by a viewer’s single geographical location within the landscape.
The cameras were set to shoot at 30-second intervals. The images were then compiled into short vignettes, powerfully condensing the actual time taken to shoot. The process enables the viewer to experience the landscape over a longer period than is normally possible, e.g. a twenty-four hour period can be seen in under two minutes.
The time-lapse technology allows observation of variations in landscape scenes, from different times of day and night, and contrasting weather conditions. In any one visit the typical visitor would be unlikely to see as wide a range of environmental elements captured over the four months.
The exhibition Ice Cloud Mirror includes the film Mirror, eight artworks selected from the Ruskin Library and Research Centre and an exhibition catalogue with four critical essays providing the critical context underpinning the exhibition. In establishing a close proximity between the film shot in the Alps and paintings of the Alps and the Lake District by John Ruskin, a powerful connection between contemporary digital time-lapse photography and traditional media of pencil and watercolour is established.
The exhibition extends the therapeutic landscape concept, connecting art, landscape, environment, and psychoanalytic theory to advance thinking in this area of health research. It proposes the idea that certain encounters with landscape and nature, as physical locations and in art, can be therapeutic, able to enhance physical, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing. Visitors were encouraged to explore their experience of the house at Brantwood, the landscape of Coniston, and the artworks displayed. The works from the Ruskin Collection posed questions designed to help visitors consider the concept and their responses.
The catalogue maximised the impact of the exhibition through wider dissemination, available for visitors to the exhibition at Brantwood, the Ruskin Library, the Scott Gallery at Lancaster University, and the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, Cumbria.