Art Exhibition at Congress 2019

 

ArtSIG produced an array of imagery and poems from this years' Congress. We are showcasing the pieces of work to show the hard work and creativity that went into each post.

 

The theme

 

ArtSIG chose 'The liminal space' as the theme for the first Congress exhibition, as it took place in an in-between space, where attendees may have been reflecting on the last seminar they attended, preparing for the next, or perhaps just daydreaming about something completely unrelated.
  
We give special thanks to Tiago Costa, for his excellent flyer encouraging people to submit their work to our first Congress exhibition. 

Few people stop to ask themselves exactly what the ‘liminal’ is, even though most of us are familiar with the term subliminal. 
 
The word liminal is derived from the Latin limen, meaning threshold. “The liminal space” is therefore that space that lies somewhere in-between. The term can be applied literally, as for example to a corridor, an airlock, or a lift, but it is now more commonly used to refer to a psychological or psychoanalytic conceptual space: a space that lies between dreaming and wakefulness, between alertness and altered consciousness, or perhaps between childhood and adulthood. 
 
Certainly, most would agree that those aspects of our existence that appear to define us most as human - art and creativity, as well as humour - tend to develop or arise from this mental space, in which we are not fully conscious or cognitively aware, yet also not completely ignorant of our activities. We are in an in-between state. 

Imagery

Poetry 

We live here

in the mental realm, the space between the body and what some call the soul 
The dusk between matter and spirit, between concrete and ethereal, organic and ideal 
The mind is a somewhere known for what it isn't, 

bearing qualities of the two phases it lies between, but fully being neither 

This liminal space is the arena for yet more twilights 
Between well and unwell 
Knowing and unknowing 
Trained and untrained 
Awake and asleep 
Conscious and unconscious 
Will and happenstance 

Chaos and control 

So much of our activity is located in a place so difficult to define 

How appropriate then, that we find ourselves trying to grasp so many lacunae here 

How do you know when you cross the border from health to illness? 
Sometimes you can see the line, 
A split, clearly demarcated 
A concept well circumscribed, where you step decidely from one to the other. 
Elsewhen, it more resembles a gradient of mist 

Gradually transforming from clear to opaque where translucent can last for miles 

Feeling normal but poorly functioning 
Getting things done but feeling on the brink 
Knowing something isn't right but unable to name it 

This in-between is no small thing 

Likewise knowledge and learning 
Can feel almost within reach 
While we flounder in the no-man's-land of an inkling 
We wander around the gap for generations, gathering evidence, testing theories, debunking myths Revising what we thought we knew 
Before we make landfall on understanding 

Where we pause, 

until we are yet again cast into the vacuum 

All the time we spend occupying this space though 
Is time inching closer to our destination 
The experience we gain here aids us 
Contributing to an accumulation of what we seek 
Be it wellness, knowledge, or simply some control over our own being 
The space in-between is a valuable one 
Thin continuous dreaming?
 
The television was on but muted,
Men dashing frantically about in their colourful rigout.
His eyes weren’t following quite quickly enough,
“Dad used to love the football - Didn’t you Dad – 
Before the memory stuff”.
 
The past gleamed with the achievements,
Of what once this man had seen, had known, had been.
When walking wasn’t wandering,
Activity wasn’t agitation,
Forgetting wasn’t floundering.
 
This twilight existence seemed an empty expanse,
All his days a doss, his many triumphs now a loss.
Suspended in purgatory between present and past,
Indifferent to the days of the week,
A strong enough body, but his mind didn’t last.
 
When suddenly from the baffled absence a lone cheer erupted,
Celebrations in full flow, sinewy arms akimbo.
His team -  blue- had scored against red!
Why, I had forgotten all about the football,
Too blinded by my own misplaced dread.
 
We could reduce him to a fond old fool,
Just a degenerating brain, awaiting death’s refrain.
But instead of seeing him as less than whole,
I saw the joy,
When the blues got that goal.
 
Jennifer Parker
 
Every scratch along the rugged, sharp-ended surface of this narrow tunnel almost exactly felt like a needle stick jab, however it did not stop me from moving forward. I was almost there - more than half way through the steep 

and narrow tunnel inside the wall as I crawled along on my stomach like a toddler. Ecstatic upon hearing the sound of thunder and seeing the flashes of light from outside towards the end of tunnel, the effort was enhanced multi­folds. Breathing heavily and sweating profusely, I kept on tunnelling through the wall in order to escape my liminal space. 

I could clearly hear the voice of Andy, my long lost friend, who did speak to me often. He used to endorse that hope is a good thing, may be the best of things. His words kept on echoing in my mind initially and after a distance of a few 
inches forward, I started mumbling the words until they intensified louder and clearer. I was on verge of finally making it to the other end - each thunderboult boosting me further towards revitalization, liberation and redemption - which I could visually percept clearly on the other side of the tunnel. Or was it just me who could? 

 

'There is no tunnel'- one voice said, and it was not Andy's. 
'Do you know where you are?' -Another voice asked. I did know where I was - I was in my liminal space. 

Not so long later, maintaining a relatively stagnant posture, my pants were pulled down which I attributed to the attempted crawling as I hoped to lunge closer - I mean, that's what I thought initially as my hand got stuck while trying to pull it back up. To be honest, I was least bothered with what had happened at that time until I realized I was unable to move any further. It seemed like something was holding me back - or someone - in fact a few. 'Not again' - I exclaimed. I knew what a restraint felt like. 

'This will make you relax, just a sharp scratch on your bottom' was the last voice I heard before the tunnel in front of my eyes disappeared. As I woke up after staying in the blurry space of my own for god knows how long, I realized that all along, it was not the sharp end of rugged surface which felt like a jab. 
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