Thursday 13 March 2014

Hannah Rickards

Hannah Rickards at Modern Art, Oxford.

This is the title of the show, an instructional lens to look through at the work. It's a quote from a book titled 'Thought Through Space' , a book that explores telepathy experiences from Alaska to New York.
Rickards' preoccupation is the exploration of the landscape of perception, with particular attention to natural phenomena such as thunder and the aurora borealis, wanting to examine them closely. How do we visualise experience? How do we navigate space?

It was certainly an experience entering the green room, an effect that was achieved by the use of green filters on the windows. The central 'theme' of this exhibition is the Northern Lights and how we might experience seeing them.

Paired with the light effect is this screen print which is a monologue by a rocket engineer of his experiences of seeing and hearing the Northern Lights.

Inside this triangular prism


were three television screens with descriptions of a sound that people have heard when they've experienced the Northern Lights. Rickards explains that the sounds are non-recordable, only some people have heard them, and all explanations are uncertain.


Rickards hopes that the experience of being in the room might mirror how one might see the Northern Lights



gallery website which includes video of artist talking about this exhibition.


  1. I find it interesting that you present the exhibition, but give no indication as to what your reaction to it was. Perhaps that in itself is an indication.
    I must say that intellectual curiosity might take me to see the show, but I so far have no great impulse to do so. I have seen the Aurora Borealis - in my childhood, and the memory is very much of the wonder of nature and of being in a huge space rather than being in a green indoors. But perception in itself is an interesting area of inquiry, ....

    1. Interesting observation, Olga, and you're right - I was not sure what my reaction to it was, so I left it at that. I tend to post on all the exhibitions I see, even if I do not like some, or feel unsure, as I did with this one - my blog is first and foremost a diary for myself, so I record everything so I can come back to it. I have found that sometimes when I look at something I posted a long time ago, my reactions have changed, or, as I learn more about the artist, I find it interesting to re-visit some of their work.

      I have not seen the Aurora Borealis and it's one of the things I want to do, and soon. I did not think that that's how I would experience the Aurora, but it was interesting (for a few minutes) being in the green room.

      We went to Oxford to see the Elspeth Owen ceramics (and what an experience that was) and as we were there, we also went in Modern Art, Oxford - the other exhibition that was staged also left me cold, but I will post on that too. I am saving the Elspeth Owen one for a bit later, as I want to think about her work for a bit, as that was stunning.