Sally Annett ‘Contemplation Seats’ Allenheads 2013

ImageThe gathering this week has been thinking and working around themes of arts, science and religion, for want of better labels for the disciplines into which we separate ourselves.

‘Science is about finding the least wrong answers, but at times the rejection of faith values leaves us culturally bereft!’ Art is the expression of the numinous, the uber, the other and the collective; it is a shared, personal, elemental experience.

Thoughts feelings and emotions are important even if they are biochemical by products, or novel sensorial impetus.

We live in a society where concentration and action are valued more than contemplation and stillness, yet our consciousnesses are continually fluid and changing.

I sleep, I dream, I wake, I day dream, I laugh, I cry, I become bored, angry, frustrated and unhappy as well as experiencing joy, empathy and hope.

Humanity’s consciousness is not separate from the rest of the natural world, and should therefore be evolving in parallel with it.

I am working around six emerging foci:

Consciousness – The environment and climate change Women’s rights across all disciplines/globallyThe specificity of language The aesthetics of scientific process The problematic dialogue surrounding religion and gender/sexual politics.

Emerging artistic themes relate to;

  • Reflection – Pilgrimage – Nature – Ritual and play

Initially these three fields may seem unconnected but they are interconnected in many ways and on many levels, I have attempted to incorporate them into the artworks created.

All employ ritual, but ritual is invented, and any sequence of actions can be ritualised and used to symbolise anything – something similar can be said about language, and about words.

The languages we use to describe and build our worlds with are critical – each specialism has a different set of languages, for example within the worlds of science you have the languages of mathematics, botany, medicine and astronomy, all very different and all based on age old systems, many on old or dead/dying languages like Latin.

The same is true of our religions, we cannot read the original texts ourselves and we often have to take the word of the priest or scientist on faith or trust, there is a ‘techno-priesthood’.

The arts, visual and musical, convey information to us all in a very different way but still use particular languages and symbols. In places and times when the masses have not been literate, the arts have been core to the structure of our social groups and often they take place in the form of ritualized and habitual practice familiar to the group. 

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