I have been hard at work experimenting in the studio trying to create an experience that replicates the effect of a forest on attention. In the first blog I outlined the aspects of a forest that psychologists believe cause this effect. One of the areas mentioned is the balance between prospect and refuge, therefore, I am currently focussing on the change in depth of perception often encountered in a forest. For example, the way after walking through through a dense area, you might suddenly happen upon an expanse of seemingly infinite trees. I am experimenting with and developing some illusional and theatrical tricks in order to create a feeling of canopies and vistas opening up, even within the confines of an exhibition space. It involves lots of two way mirror material and video projection. Creating the illusion will involve getting the light levels, type of projection, timing and the distance between the mirror surfaces just right, there is a lot of experimentation and fine tuning to be done.
The images show my initial experiments, at this point it still seems like it will take a lot of work – and some magic – to turn this into an experience like a walk through a forest. I can see what I want it to look like in my mind, but finding ways to transform mind pictures into reality is always the biggest challenge of all.