Invitation to Leap, Touch, Make a Sound

University of Hertfordshire Art Collection: Jubilee Art Commission

Stainless steel, permanent installation, 2012

Photo by Derek Hutchison

Photograph: Derek Hutchison

In these days of virtual worlds and online interaction, it is perfectly possible to attend a lecture, access a library and have a discussion with classmates without even leaving the house. So why is a physical campus so important for learning? And what is special about Hertfordshire University’s College Lane campus, with its green spaces and modern architectural heritage? As a student using College Lane, I found the landscape and spaces of the campus invigorating and inspiring and I would feel this as an embodied sensation, heightened by the sense of being there to discover and learn. It is this which my work principally explores, examining the parallels between opening the self to new learning and creativity, and opening the self, via the senses, to interaction with ones environment. Play and experimentation are both legitimate ways to learn and both take the learner to the edges of the comfortable or ‘known’ in order to discover and experience. I wanted to create a work which invites people to engage, physically and perhaps surprise themselves and others by doing so. A work referencing ‘open’ behaviour which people might remember from childhood: a leap for an apple hanging on a tree, simply to see if you can reach; a sound made in every underpass to hear the echo.

Invitation to Leap, Touch, Make a Sound

Photograph: Richard Davies

University of Hertfordshire Futures Magazine features an article on the commission here, pages 17-19 of Summer 2013 edition.