“Seventh Sense’ is a visual response to the connection I’ve felt with Aotearoa’s ancient forests - a collection of drawings, photography and painting centred around the North Island bush-scapes. I’m interested in the link between our physical senses and our emotional senses and so my palette represents colours I associate with the smells, sounds, memories & emotions I’ve felt amongst the bush.
We know of the five senses: Touch, Sound, Sight, Smell and Taste. There is also the famous “Sixth Sense”, argued by some as relation to our “gut-feeling”, to others our primal ‘fight or flight’ system when our bodies tell us that there is danger nearby, the feeling we have of being watched and some animals can even sense electrical fields or volcanic eruptions before they happen.
This series of artwork is the result of questions surrounding a “Seventh Sense” and the physiological change I’ve noticed around my body just having been immersed in nature. I’ve suffered with poor mental health for some time and self-soothe by spending time amongst trees and watching wildlife. Learning and developing an understanding of “Forest Bathing” since being in Aotearoa, known in Japan as ‘Shinrin-yoku’ is often prescribed there as appose to anti-depressants, has helped articulate these feelings.
There is something deeply rooted within us and our ability to connect with nature despite our inability to communicate with plants and trees in the same way as we do with one another, or with animals. None of us can ignore the healing properties of nature. You only need to mention the pandemic and lockdowns as a prime example. The bacterium even found in soil mirror the effect on neurons that anti-depressants such as Prozac provide.
As someone that struggles still with meditation, what I’ve found works best for me is plein air sketching and collaging. I’ve provided my sketchbook as part of the show, which I have been carrying around for the last two years. Please do feel free to flick through it as you walk around the show as references.