Preparing to Project

Still at home here in Canada, I was finally able to set up against a clean wall and white space with a projector to test the way I will project The Healing Room for the MA final exhibition. I’m working “blind” in many respects as I’m still struggling with not having proper studio space and I’m also creating I’ve planned to project the work into a corner to avoid typical reference to the rectangular stretched painting canvas and four-sided video or television screen. The three most important ideas for me for the installation are: expanded, immersive, and multi-screen.

I am also playing with using planes cut across the space to break the geometry of the space by creating angles and reflections. This intention is informed by a desire to work with the things that also concern me as a painter. Points of reference that have been building as I’ve developed The Healing Room include breaking the 2-d picture plane with expanded painting to create a space to experience the work, and also reflections and refractions of the Claud Glass. Originally I had wanted to mark or paint on the clear duralar panels but when testing how to make marks and have those marks cast shadows doing this seems as if it may distract from the work. Also when testing the projection of an early version of The Healing Room I discovered that the clear Duralar material refracted the light and colours into the darkened room with interesting wave and circular patterns. The effects are visually effective, but again may not work with the actual artwork. Also, I will have to navigate around some aspects of my gallery room that in some respects are less than ideal: pipes and alcoves and wires against the walls.


I found the artwork below by Dan Flavin evocative of how I want to use light and reflections of light and shadow to create an immersive experienced with “The Healing Room” and also employ concepts related to “expansion” (based on my desire to continue to explore expanded painting). I originally reflected on these ideas in this earlier blog post:

I plan to bring the duralar roll with me and see if I can make it work in the room. My tests at home show that it could work, but I am thinking more and more that I need to respond specifically to the site. This is something I’ve done with other work, so although it’s creating uncertainty, I know that in the past allowing some final decisions to be made onsite was very successful.

After testing the project I feel confident in my use of split screens and floating frames in the work and also to use the projector to create more than one space in which to see the moving image. This is a holdover from my previous explorations into multiple screen works and artists like Issac Julien uses multiple screens in this project to create an immersive environment for his work “10,000 Waves”. In this pervious blog post I consider what methods and effects Julien uses that I may want to carry over to The Healing Room.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.28.13 PM

The Healing Room is not just the moving image work. There are props from the photographic shoot I want to include as found objects, photographic stills from the hundreds of frames shot, and also the storyboard composites on paper that I’m making. Some decisions have been guided by the investigations I’ve done of the past year studying and observing exhibitions where moving image is projected or shown on screen in a museum or gallery context. Some exhibits at the Vancouver Art Gallery are reflected upon in this blog post:

I’m doing as much as I can ahead of time, but as mentioned above, I feel as if I am working blind. My way of dealing with this will be to assume that when I arrive in Sheffield I will have to respond to the space on order to make the best exhibition, as opposed to just installed previously created objects in a new, random space.

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