Few months ago I was approached by a professional artist called Suki Chan to take part in her new installation entitled A hundred Seas Rising – currently at Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth.
I loved the idea she had for the project. She was going to record the voices of 100 people and their ideas for a revolution and then create an installation around it.
I encourage you to see the real thing for yourself. It is breathtaking and the recordings are amazing. I have learned so much from listening to over fifteen desks at the opening and I am really looking forward to the book that will accompany the project in July. The main message from many of the voices is that self awareness and learning are key in today’s world and the future. This means using our brains, questioning our assumptions, opening our eyes and thinking instead of being passive to our experience individual and collective. Working with these themes and many others you can read about it on Suki’s professional page, she has engineered the recordings to join in various combinations like sea waves together in addition to being each played at an old school’s desk. This is by far the most intelligent, enjoyable art installation I have seen in a while and I am incredibly proud and humbled to be part of it.
And here’s my revolution statement:
My personal revolution would be around an individual and something called the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ which is this idea that people often times when they perceive themselves to be very clever, very intelligent, very funny, really truly magnificent people, often times have to squash this down in order to fit in. So it’s this idea that in order to fit in we have to sort of play small in the world. And in a lot of jobs that I have done and a lot of people I have worked with I have seen this effect.
The revolution that I would like to see is to create environments both in the work place and in schools, where people are encouraged to be their best… And that can be for a lot of reasons. It’s something that will affect people who are trying to live up to their potential but it will also affect the people around them. Because it’s a real joy and pleasure to see people shine and to be wonderfully amazing, but it can make us feel uncomfortable, because when other people are excellent, sometimes it can feel to others that we are less so, so it can make us feel worse. I’ve seen in a lot of teams, workplaces, organisations, as well as in families, situations where people are having to pull other people down to make themselves feel better.
So I think anything we could do everywhere, whether that’s from teaching kids about what that means, about working with adults about looking at people’s language to help everybody be their best would ultimately be a wonderful world to live in.
Recording for A Hundred Seas Rising project
By Suki Chan