For Silent Stage, three Nurturing units have been installed above the forest floor (wild strawberries, blueberries and a juvenile oak tree are some of the specimens covered and lighted up by the installation).
"The units isolate small sections of the woodland floor creating 'an incongruous artificial environment'. Using methods of either covering or lighting with high intensity fluorescent lights the installations influence the growth of flora and fauna by simulating an alternative climate, reminiscent of the more extreme end of projections of climate change, where life is cast into an aphotic world of darkness or subjected to intense sunlight, which abates for only a few hours a day. Melis' work seeks to 'experiment with the idea of tending to a part of the wood by first sheltering it from direct sunlight and then providing it, at the discretion of the viewer, with artificial light for growth.' This active participation on the part of the viewer illustrates the notion that our environment is by no means immune to our actions and that our influence on the world around us, however slight or localised, has global ramifications that in turn threaten the niche within which human life exists" (Duke's Wood Project).
Silent Stage with Andrius Arutiunian, Antanas Dombrovskij, Janina Lange, Fred Hubble, Paraic Mcgloughlin, Anne-Mie Melis, Sharon Murphy, Dalziel+Scullion and Jennifer Taylor
|Nurturing, prototype 3 (photo credit Mona Casey)|