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Art Box Project: What Am I Doing Here?


The Art Box Project

Chris Clements: ‘What am I doing here?’ Wellington Hospital (on the grass near the chapel), 14th-27th March 2004

(From the artist’s statement)

‘What am I doing here?’ displays a brain sprouting from a bed of soil to show analogies between the surface of the earth and the landscape of the mind; paralleling geological strata with the pre-history of the human brain, as well as with the fabric of the mind and it’s layers of consciousness.

The box is situated outside Wellington Public Hospital’s Nurses Chapel and among other things, looks at the question of faith in the light of recent scientific evidence. This evidence suggests that the temporal lobes of the brain are apt to produce feelings of transcendence and spirituality, feelings thought to be caused by chemical neurotransmission activity associated with TLE (temporal lobe epilepsy). Some have presumed this to deny the existence of god, but the question they are faced with is; why is the human brain endowed with this capacity?

This riddle is perhaps less interesting than the main impetus for this work, which is to look at the relationship between complexities of the mind and emotion and the fact of the brain as a hunk of meat. In a hospital environment this dichotomy is highlighted, it becomes more poignant, and the work is a consideration of this relationship.

See www.artbox.org.nz for more, or email artbox@artbox.org.nz.

Chris Clements is a Wellington artist and musician, who works in painting, sculpture, assemblage and installation. His art work has been exhibited in a range of galleries and public spaces; including recent group shows, ‘Safe Places’ in the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery in Wellington and ‘Small World’ at Pataka Art Museum in Porirua; as part of ‘Interventions’ with sculptural works in Glover park, and installation pieces at Enjoy Public Art Gallery.

The Art Box Project Trust appreciates funding from the Wellington City Creative Communities scheme.

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