Irrefutable sun : the apprenticeship of silence part II

by Nicola Claire Loder

Institution: Monash University
Department: Department of Fine Arts
Year: 2015
Keywords: Disappearing; Reality; Invisible; Nicola Loder; Embroidery art; Silence
Record ID: 1069092
Full text PDF: http://arrow.monash.edu.au/hdl/1959.1/1175617


Irrefutable Sun: the apprenticeship of silence part II examines personal experience and various texts to explore concepts of disappearance, from the tangible disappearance of the body in death to more subtle forms in shifts of identity, neurological slippages and other disturbances of self. The area covered touches on the psychological, existential, phenomenological, spiritual, ontological, and metaphysical aspects of this topic in order to shed light on the elusive concept of ‘what it means to disappear’. The personal experiences collected for the project come from a public participation element where people were asked if they had ever disappeared via a flyer2. Those who identified with the idea were asked to submit a full-length image of themselves with their eyes closed and a written description of what happened during their disappearing experience and how it felt. Stories collected reveal people’s intimate recollections of disappearing which include near death experiences, spiritual highs and acts as mundane as sleeping. The images associated provide a visual token of that which perceptually disappeared. The inspiration for the project was my own disappearing experiences which could also be looked at as three predominantly non-visual episodes. The first travels back to a childhood in India via pre-language memories contained in the touch and smell of my ayah’s³ muslin saree⁴, the sound of spices cooking in a Calcutta kitchen and the apprehension of a chaotic city from the point of view of an infant in a pram. The second was during a project teaching blind children photography where my physical presence disintegrated as I imagined how the students were apprehending me formlessly via sound. The third, on a Vipassāna meditation retreat, where in a guided meditation, I passed my mind through each body part and in doing so perceptually erased it. Segment by segment 'I' disappeared until 'I' was consciousness floating, inside a purple bubble.