Minds Eye is a kinetic installation, and an interactive spatial narrative of Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas. The Courtauld Gallery, which is the site of my project, is renowned for its collection of impressionistic artwork. Within my research I found Degas one of the most interesting characters within this artistic movement due to his attitude, as well as his visual degeneration. This degeneration inspired me to create new ways of seeing the works, and to approach exhibiting with a greater sensitivity to the background narrative. The curation of works displayed within the space references the body and material due to the sensitivity of light and tone within these. These pieces are subject to separate areas and form a timeline of his career, as well as providing guests with a platform to study the first hand effects of macular degeneration. This creates a new way of seeing his artworks, influencing a higher level of attention to the detail.
The central space is filled by a kinetic structure formed of suspended material at a graduated density to create a dome void within the mass of fabric. To get into the space, visitors must engage with the suspended fabric to become part of the conversation of the body and material.
The dome structure of the suspended central form lends itself to the rotational aspect of the design. The black reflective flooring accentuates the form, implying a full sphere, referencing the eye and creating an infinite effect.
The artist’s narrative, I believe, is just as important as the artworks themselves. Minds Eye enables the visitors to experience the darkness that Degas fell into, as well as the illumination and sensitivity to it within his work. They become part of the conversation of the whole project through their interaction.