Lilies

Interactive sound installation
1070(w) x 1571(l) x 3000(d) mm
Steel, speakers, audio, custom circuitry
2007 – 2011
Thami Mnyele Fine Art Award overall winner

 Lilies ponders nature versus nurture especially in light of our growing technological context and the change that inflicts onto us as individuals. It is a portrait of an individual who’s story is communicated through disquieting voices that play when the wire ‘stems’ are touched. The gentle flow of the stems and grounding circuit mimic the nature of the lily-plant, a plant that grows directionally towards light. An electrical circuit that forms an organic pattern inside the art frame controls the stems.The viewer can explore and play with the interactivity of the artwork to discover the multifaceted portrait held within. Depending on how it is interacted with, Lilies can reveal the experience of thoughtlessness in its silence and cacophony of thought in its multi-layering of voices when stems are touched simultaneously. Leave Lilies alone for too long and she starts humming to herself.

"Lilies references a house-warming gift of a lilly plant that I received from my mother before my parents moved to Qatar for work. My family relationship changed over the next few years as our emotional connections took form through voice over internet technologies and social media. Watching the lilly plant grow towards the light in my room reminded me of this functional reach I was making over technology to my family. My sense of self was affected by this experience which has come to define my way of thinking and producing art to this day. In many ways Lilies is a self portrait." - JB

This artwork was created through a collaborative process involving Leinster Grimes - Electronic Engineer, Dave De Gaspari - Software Programmer, Schalk Erasmus -  Installation Production Consultant, Ola Kobak from Fulka - Musician (Voice Production), Benjamin Studios - Audio Recording.
 

Recipient of the Thami Mnyele Fine Art Award 2011