Archive for June, 2012

Arts Medicine and Humanities Conference 2012

At present, I am working on my paper for the AMH Conference in Cork, Ireland July 2012.

Please see the paper outline below:


Identifying with the body visual;

Live performance, video and sound.


‘Just as a mirror shines bright once it has been cleared of dust; so those who have seen the self shine in mind and body, they are always and forever filled with happiness’


 After contracting e-coli 0165 and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome; a change in identity hit me hard as I endured severe medical interventions to prevent kidney failure and death. For the first time in my life my organs spoke loudly in pain, and I quickly came to terms with the impermanence of life.

As a visual artist and as a fully recovered patient, this medical encounter prompted a period of self-reflection. By interpreting footage from endoscopes, microscopes and medical imaging techniques and by immersing myself in a 10-day silent meditation retreat (Vipassana), I began to explore relationships between what lies beneath the skin and the ever-changing nature of our mind.

With a focus on meditation, consciousness and creativity, this paper will incorporate sound recordings, experimental video and performance to express my change in awareness of the self that has taken place since contracting the disease.

Slow Wave State

Consciousness and Dreaming:

I am experiencing altered states of consciousness through a meditative practice that I uphold for 2 hours a day.

My recent Work In Progress is exploring these states through light, manipulation of light, movement and energetic flow. I have become interested in the view from within; when the eyes are closed or as we are drifting in and out of sleep or awakening from anaesthesia.

The images and video are suggestive of the ‘between consciousness’ state – and the view from behind the eyelids or from within the iris – as a person returns to consciousness and tries to make sense of the world in which they live.

Slow Wave State combines alpha and delta brain wave activity which spreads across the brain in an anterior-posterior gradient. It emerges in deep non-rapid eye movement sleep. Alpha waves in the brain are connected with relaxed mental states like meditation. Delta waves and delta wave activity are marked by an unconscious state and a loss of physical awareness.

Slow Wave State: Photographic Image

Slow Wave State 1: Photographic Image

slow wave state 2: Photographic Image

Slow Wave State 3: Photographic Image

Slow Wave State 4: Photographic Image

Fringe Arts Bath Exhibition (Installation)

Friday May 25th – Sunday June 10th

FAB 2012, Bath

I installed my work on Stall Street, Bath – in the disused shop (The Officers Club)

Stacey Sewell curated the show called, ‘Sounding Bodies.’ The exhibition explored the body as producer and receiver of sound. My work was part of a group show located in the ‘changing rooms’ on the ground floor of the 3 storey building.

I exhibited the audio/visual installation; ‘Mouth Endoscopy’ – please see the link below

The audio in this piece is manipulated sounds from medical investigations coupled with the internal grumblings of the working body.

My work was exhibited at the end of a long corridor – in the damp, dusty and smelling fire exit! These conditions were perfectly suited to this work and I set about manipulating the space to create an experience for the viewer that was challenging and disorientating.

By extracting the false ceiling, I peeled away the skin of the space and was delighted to discover a metal extractor tube that stretched from one end of the space to the other. I blacked out the space and installed an overhead projection of the mouth. The metal extractor acted as a conductor of sound and the space was filled with a deep reverberation.

As the audience approached this work; the mouth seemed to dissolve into the void at the end of the corridor –

Extracting the false ceiling

Revealing the Interior of the space

The space above the extractor fan

The darkened void to project into


Rockin’ In The Spirit World

As I was walking near Plymouth, England, I came across a disused, round building that had once been used for storing fuel in the 2nd WW. It was situated behind some metal fencing and the grasses had grown so tall that the building was camouflaged by its own surroundings.

The space attracted my attention for a number of reasons. When you are stood inside; light seems to flood through the doorway and is blinding, distorting your vision and causing you to squint. The acoustics of this space are intriguing and I will re-visit this place to take some recordings. The ground beneath your feet seems to be hollow. The deep echo and the sensation that the floor may crumble beneath you brings with it a sense of fear.

There is a circular hole in the roof that draws light onto the adjacent wall and over time, this light drifts slowly around the space. The scale of the building is immense – it certainly feels like you are being contained within a place not designed for people.

A Book Of Silence

I have just finished reading…

A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland.

I found it to be deeply personal and intellectually exciting. The book foster a deep understanding of silence through first-hand experience and research into psychoanalysis and mythology.

I recently experienced a period of 10days in silence at a Vipassana Meditation Retreat Centre in Hereford, England and have been inspired to write my own account of this journey into silence and within the self.

A Book Of Silence by Sara Maitland