Installation and participatory process

Our interactions are influenced by ways of thinking and acting from the past. World views are unconsciously passed on over generations. The past permeates into the present and thus the future.

Presence(s) creates a space for the fluidity of past, present and future. Consisting of an  installation in which a participatory process takes place, Presence(s) works with 5 ‘presences’, which are represented by garments and short stories of people from the past. These lead the participants to their own representations of social forces from the past, e.g. disciplinary pedagogy or Protestant work ethics. In a process of dialogue, memory

and imagination the ‘presences’ become connected to each person’s own experience and memories, revealing socio-historical continuities and influences. An insight into a life from the past becomes a possibility for the perception of socio-historical influence and transgenerational passage with its traces in contemporary society. Presence(s) is an invitation to trace these influences and to question whether and how one might move beyond them.

/ Sarah Drain

/ realised partly during a residency at Fusion Arts Oxford, 2016

/ Materials: wood, cotton, beeswax, linseed oil, pieces of clothing, other found objects,paper, chairs

/ 3m x 4m x 2,2m

/  MA [inside]OUTSIDE MA Interdisciplinary Arts Festival, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, 2016
/  Fringe Arts Bath, Bath, 2017
/ Connective Practice and Freedom – Social Sculpture Platform, Conference, Oxford Brookes University, 2017

/ MA Interdisciplinary Arts Practice Prize: Social Sculpture

I came away empowered by the form and the exchange it elicied, the recognition of the waves of influence back and forth in time (...). Presence(s) offered a glimpse into the significance an aesthetic experience can have for understanding ourselves as agents of social change.