Exhibition View, 2012
Photo: Anita Chowdry
When language transmission is broken we lose a unique knowledge of how a community perceived the world, and indeed how they perceived themselves.
Following the death of a language, the story may not be over, for at some point a community may wish to make contact with their interrupted linguistic heritage and thereby resurrect their language.
The Triptych represents the transition from a living language full of associations and potential (this stage is represented by thread weaving), through to a static phase when the last speaker dies, and finally on to an attempt at reviving the language in question.
plaster relief, close up
full size: 40 × 40 × 40 cm
(A New Beginning)
Note: The titles are in Eyak
, an extinct Na-Dené language historically spoken by the Eyak people, indigenous to south-central Alaska.
The last speaker of Eyak, Marie Smith Jones, died in 2008. The Eyak community has been trying to re-learn its language.
Exhibition View, 2013
The loss of linguistic heritage represents an aspect of death, and as such it can provide a reminder of our own mortality. The death of a language is often connected with the death of people, and indeed sometimes an entire ethnic community.
The Silent Keepers
Archival Inkjet Print
40 × 40 cm
A View From Somewhere
215 x 405 x 105cm
In 2012 I collaborated with neuroscientists from the MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit at the University of Oxford. The project culminated in a multi-media interdisciplinary exhibition called A Nervous Encounter
at The Old Fire Station in Oxford.
An Emerging View
Screen print on glass
13.5 × 42 × 30 cm
Photo: Agnieszka Swiejkowska
The most immediate facet of the Lab that I tried to capture was the collaborative nature of many breakthrough discoveries. The glass slides in my artwork are a scaled up response to the ones used in the lab. Their arrangement shows the essence of the interconnectedness of many research projects.
The slides are put together as a transparent object that invites being looked at from different angles, thereby invoking the importance of looking ‘outside the box’ in research. The regular gaps between the slides symbolise a scientific way of looking at things e.g. systematic, repetitive, but also open minded, thereby leaving the potential to spark new research.
Beyond the Microscope
Digital Projection: 20 stills on the loop
Personal stories that lie behind the research are explored in a projection. In addition the irregular time pattern between the individual stills suggests freezing, the process that may be experienced by some Parkinson’s patients. My work therefore also stresses the important phenomena that the lab investigates.
Charcoal and Graphite on Paper, 85 × 60 cm
A series of automatic drawings performed in the dark while listening to two languages that evolved in similar geographical conditions on two different continents, namely Sámi spoken in northern Europe and Eyak used in Alaska.
Automatic Drawing Workshop
, V22, June 2012
Speakers of different languages were invited to respond to the audio recordings in Eyak made by Guillaume Leduey
30 × 42 cm
I investigated the science of photography at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, as well as the character of ethnographic research of that time. The prints are an attempt to keep alive the stories of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic Circle.
In 2013 I collaborated with The Endangered Archives Project
at the British Library. EAP rescues collections that may otherwise have been lost. I have looked specifically at a digitalised photographic archive of southern Siberian
indigenous population. The project culminated in the prints being shown in the Encounters between Art and Science
exhibition at The British Library in London.
42 × 30 cm
Exhibition View, 2013
The British Library
It would not have been possible to make the prints without the permission of the Krasnoiarsk Regional Museum and the input of anthropologist Craig Campbell
21 × 30 cm
An investigation into how life blends with literary narrative.
A series of fictionalised photographs taken during real journeys.
- ‘self-mimesis’ the various symbolic mediations that render action possible and thinkable with a given world
- the world of the scene of intrigue and tale, ‘narrative configurations’ that place the world in historical accounts or in tales of fiction