Merilyn Fairskye - Aqua

Exhibition: 18 July to 18 August, 2007

Merilyn Fairskye

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Aqua continues Merilyn Fairskye's investigation of time and motion, perception and illusion. It was filmed in two very different locations - from a hotel room on the 17th floor in Miami, Florida, and from the shores of Botany Bay. The common element in the two-part video installation is water.

In her earlier work Stati D'Animo, 2006 (which will also be on display as a new four minute video version), Fairskye monitored airports and their environs to create a sense of place that is layered with shadows, echoes and reflections. People inhabit this space provisionally. Anonymous figures rush past on their way to departure or arrival gates, to immigration, to baggage areas, lost in space and thought. Transient bodies dissolve in time and space.

In Aqua almost the opposite occurs, bodies are suspended in time and linger in a watery space. The high angle of the camera confuses the perspective of the image. In Miami a man floats, bringing his body to a horizontal position on the pool's surface. He could be floating or falling. A couple takes the opportunity to come into physical contact within the expansiveness of the aqua fluid. As wind and sunlight move across the water the effect recalls the gestural and painterly qualities of Impressionism. In Botany Bay, Fairskye directs her camera out past the heads, into an emptiness that could be the edge of the world.

The narrative elements present in Fairskye's earlier works give way to a more abstract investigation of time and motion in a sequence of improvisational filmic fragments. There is a play between technology and perception, stillness and motion. The layering of time within the image folds past and present together. In Aqua a tentativeness of connection and meaning is suggested as people explore the quality and potential of their physical environment. The vulnerability of bodies in movement is evoked.

Fairskye's work has been widely exhibited within galleries and digital media events. She is a forerunner in her technological exploration of the medium, having worked with new media since 1992. Her work was most recently exhibited at Art Cologne, States of Mind at Artspace, Sydney and Definition 2006: Digital Media Festival, Banff New Media Institute, Canada.