Authors: ANDERSON, Charles
Source: Nelson Mail, The, 13/10/2010, p014
Document Type: Article
A new exhibition gives a full sensory experience, as Charles Anderson reports.
"Would you like to lie down in a pod," asks Heather Burnett-Rose.
Why, yes. It's comfy that pod - like a little white cot filled with white cushions positioned just right for the lumbar region.
In fact, the entire space in Anne Rush's studio is white. And comfortable. The walls, the ceiling the floor - all blank. Like a sanctuary away from the outside world and all its confusion, stimuli and mess.
In here, though, it's peaceful.
From the outside the windows are blacked out. Then the music starts, the walls begin to move, flash and fade. The shadows begin; the room is anything but blank.
Burnett-Rose walked into Rush's studio two years ago and loved her trademark white space. She said: "I have to work with that woman."
It has taken two years of talk, collaboration and execution to create Vox Lumens.
White space - Burnett-Rose saw it as inherently political. She would know. She has been working as an installation, film and musical artist since 2001 when she graduated from St Martins School of Fine Art in London. She is now living in Golden Bay, though her work still shows in Europe.
Her previous works have names such as Wargasm, Brave New World and Sex Tourist.
They are shows that challenge conventional wisdom and traditional comfort.
White space is different though. It cuts through all of that. It's purged of message, symbols and content. Vox Lumens then is a refuge - a white oasis.
It certainly feels like one.
When young children walk in they dance . . . slowly. Some walk through the dangling sculptural forms that hang in space like ghosts. Others touch its giant glittering Christmas decorations. Their own shadows change the work; their reactions part of it.
It's not content driven, says Rush. It's driven by peace.
There is a message in there somewhere. Something that has driven the artists to create.
But that is not important. It is the experience that is important.
Burnett-Rose likens that to stepping inside the medium - entering the canvas and breaking down the screens that so often separate the viewer from an art work.
Even at its most immersive we always are looking through a screen whether it be a TV or a car or a computer, she says.
We are always from a witnessing position and here this is a way to bring you into it. To create a different space, an inner space.
So reactions will be different - that's part of the point. Some might freak out a little, others might stay a while, others might fall asleep, or become alert, stimulated by the constant stream of light and sound.
Do you want to go to sleep now? Burnett-Rose asks.
A little bit.
But unfortunately I can't.
Vox Lumens by Anne Rush and Heather Burnett-Rose until October 25 at Anne Rush Artworks Studio on Haven Rd.