Anne Katrine Senstad: On Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid

In the following excerpt, Norwegian artist Anne Katrine Senstad provides us with the history and conceptual origins of her site-specific installation, Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid.  Senstad’s stunning piece will be on view February 15th, between 5-8pm and finally, as part of the Preternatural Closing Event on Friday February 17th, 5-8pm at St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts. Anne will give a talk at 6pm on the 17th and artists Andrew Wright, Marie-Jeanne Musiol and Adrian Gollner will also be present to take questions from the audience.

Installation view: Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid, St Brigid’s Center for the Arts, Ottawa, 2011-12. Single projection, video, sound. Music by JG Thirlwell.

In dialogue with the deconsecrated church St Brigid’s, the site, sound and time-specific installation Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid creates an environment of projected colors and sound engulfing the church organ, Romanesque  columns and vaulting, in the architectural space.

The video piece Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid consisting of ever changing colors and the beautifully haunting sound composition by JG Thirlwell, enveloping the interior experience by transformations and references to the transcendental in art; that which cannot be described other than through one’s own experience. As the title refers to the condition of kinesthesia; the awareness of one’s own movement, we think of the transitional nature of the projected colors onto the space, transforming the space itself into variations of depth, lightness, shapes, a juxtaposition of the sensorial phenomena of light and color  – an artificial transformation of space and time.

The poetry and polysemy of the site-specific projection brings the viewer into the authenticity of the church’s architecture. We are brought into an experience of the internal, the meditative and physically engulfing visions of pure color and sound. The kinesthesia of this dialogue, a constant movement and transportation of light through space – continues to change the church interior through time and as viewers engage with their presence.

Installation view: Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid, St Brigid’s Center for the Arts, Ottawa, 2011-12. Single projection, video, sound. Music by JG Thirlwell.

In the tradition of minimal light, space and time art, the video and sound projection installation is about creating life in a space by inserting colors, sound and light. A dissemination through the aesthetics and phenomena of the perceptive and retinal. In an attempt to understand and translate the experience of the video projection installation, it can be related to Dan Flavin’s church installation in Italy consisting of fluorescent light tubes in green, pink, gold and ultraviolet, where the statement of creating ‘living space’ in the church and merging with the architecture is key to perceiving the work.

Don Giulio Greco, priest of the Red Church (Chiesa Rossa) in Milano wrote to Flavin in May 1996 : “I’d be delighted if someone like you could help us to find an ambiance in our church. By ‘ambiance,’ I mean a living space, a place inhabited by the Word”.

Other early light and space artists that can resonate in language and objective to the video projection installation at St Brigid’s Center for the Arts, are artists such as James Turell, Douglas Wheeler and Robert Irwin amongst others, who relate the sensorial experiences of space with immersive environments, directing the flow of natural light, embedding artificial light within objects or architecture, or by playing with light through the use of transparent, translucent or reflective materials.

The transformative is a vehicle to the artwork and perceptive experience.

By inserting The Word in Don Giulio Greco’s letter to Flavin, we are reminded of the original usage of the space, here a non-de-consecrated church, a church dedicated to devotion and the spiritual. St Brigid’s center for the Arts is devoted to the arts, be it performance, installation, sound or the visual arts and is a former church, de-consecrated. The purity of site-specific work based around color, light and sound in the tradition of the light and space artists, merges the elements of art for art’s sake and restores a sense of experiential states of being; awareness and the perceptive, which is in direct dialogue with the original use of the church. The bridge between historic content, time, and space.

The installation Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid is the third projection installation in the series. The two first projection exhibitions took place in Buenos Aires in September 2011 at ThisIsNotAGallery with the solo exhibition, The Infinity of Colour, and in Norway in October 2011 at Utsikten Kunstsenter, also a solo show, entitled Kinesthesia in Kvinesdal. The exhibition Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid at St Brigid’s Center for the Arts in Ottawa marks the cornerstone for the trilogy. All installations have been unique and variable in execution with multiple projectors, 4 channel surround sound, fabrics, wind machines and video sequences projected.  All music for the installations has been composed, performed and produced by JG Thirlwell. (

Installation view: Kinesthesia in Kvinesdal. Utsikten kunstsenter, Norway. 2011.  Multiple projectors, surround sound, wind machine, fabric. Music by JG Thirlwell.


Installation view: Kinesthesia in Kvinesdal. Utsikten kunstsenter, Norway. 2011.  Multiple projectors, surround sound, wind machine, fabric. Music by JG Thirlwell.

Installation view: The Infinity of Colour. ThisIsNotAGallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2011. Multiple projectors, surround sound, fabric. Music by JG Thirlwell.

Installation view: The Infinity of Colour. ThisIsNotAGallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2011.  Multiple projectors, surround sound, fabric. Music by JG Thirlwell.

Looking Back: Museum of Nature Debut

Happy New Year!

We dug up a few photos from the opening night of Preternatural at the Museum of Nature, which took place early in December.  The night was a great success, thanks to all who attended.  Stay tuned for more information about upcoming events as Preternatural continues into 2012.

Preternatural Opening Weekend



Preternatural Vernissage
The Canadian Museum of Nature, 6-9pm


Artist/Curator Talk
9 December 2011, 2pm
Canadian Museum of Nature

Vernissage and Performance: Adrian Göllner
10 December 2011, 2pm
St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts


Behind the Curtain

This week we’ve completely overtaken the Museum of Nature, working fastidiously to finish installing Preternatural.

Anne Katrine Senstad arrived from New York via Norway yesterday and Mariele Neudecker arrives from London today, while the show’s local artists: Marie-Jeanne Musiol and Andrew Wright have been in the process of installing their photo-based works in the exhibition space since last week.  Sarah Walko, who drove in from New York City last Wednesday has just put the finishing touches on the fish tank which will feature in her installation.

Intrigued? We’ve compiled some of our favourite photos of the installation process to share with you, below.  A big thank you to every one who slogged away behind the scenes to bring Preternatural to life.  Enjoy!

In the thick of the installation process, Andrew Wright's Nox Borealis hangs in the background

Stillness in the gallery and Mariele Neudecker's works in progress

Unwrapping Neudecker's miniature lighthouses

Anne Katrine Senstad, Andrew Wright, and Sarah Walko

Sarah Walko assembling a fish tank as part of her installation

A close-up view of another of Walko's creations waiting to be mounted

Anne Katrine Senstad having a look at Marie-Jeanne Musiol's electromagnetic photographs

Works by Wright and Walko receiving final touches

Welcome to Preternatural. Come in and explore.

See you all tomorrow night (Thursday December 8th) at 6pm for the Vernissage at the Museum of Nature (240 McLeod Street)!





Time to Install a Major Exhibition (feat. Sarah Walko)

With less than one week to go until the opening night of Preternatural at the Museum of Nature on December 8th, we’re eagerly starting to install the show.

Sarah Walko has thankfully reached Ottawa after an epic journey from NYC with thousands of tiny sculptures in tow.  She gave me a little synopsis of the journey and the process of installing her work:

Arrived in Ottawa yesterday with my very good friend and right hand man studio tech Dan Quinn. We began install at the museum this morning!  

Border crossing was successful.  With thousands of little pieces of the installation loaded in the car we were a bit nervous as many components are organic and are plant/animals parts, which is a customs 101 potential nightmare.  However – we had a specific note from the Museum of Nature stating our purpose and all went through fine. 

All day today involved a lot of measuring, organizing and editing.  Tomorrow we will troubleshoot LEDs, fish tank, motor and finish composition of the test tube brackets.

Take a look at these behind-the-scenes snapshots of the install in progress:

To see the finished product, come to the Vernissage next Thursday, December 8th from 6pm-9pm, or visit Preternatural at the Museum of Nature any time between December 9, 2011 – February 12, 2012.

Also at the Museum of Nature will be works by: Marie-Jeanne Musiol, Mariele Neudecker, Anne Katrine Senstad, and Andrew Wright.



punctum books presents Preternatural exhibition catalogue

This week, punctum books announced the release of the Preternatural exhibition catalogue.

Below is a look at the cover:









Author Celina Jeffery writes,

“Preternatural is the catalogue for a multi-site art exhibition (9 December 2011 through 17 February 2012, in Ottawa, Canada) that draws from the idea that art itself is a form of preternatural pursuit, in which the artists participating explore the bewildering condition of being in between the mundane and the marvelous in nature. It questions a world that understands itself as accessible, reachable, and ‘knowable’ and counters it with a consideration of this heterogenous proposition.”

The catalogue contains a foreword and essay, Beyond Nature, written by Celina Jeffery and the essay Wilderness Ontology by Levi R. Bryant.

Buy Catalogue
Download Catalogue

Dec 2011
POSTED IN Celina Jeffery

Studio Herbarium: A Visit with Marie-Jeanne Musiol

This past Friday, Marie-Jeanne Musiol graciously welcomed us into her backyard studio for a short tour and illuminating discussion about her foliate photographic series: The Radiant Forest, Energy Herbarium (2011)

Using a complex electromagnetic photographic process, Musiol captures the innate energy present in living organisms.  Each photograph represents a  specific leaf at a distinct point in its life cycle.

The series is a continuation of Musiol’s exploration into the nature of botanical energy and magnetic fields as communicative forces.

To view the complete series, visit Preternatural at the Canadian Museum of Nature from December 9 2011-February 12, 2012.

See for more of Marie-Jeanne Musiol’s work.


VIDEO: Interview with Anne Katrine Senstad

A television interview with artist Anne Katrine Senstad and farmer Ronnie Waguespack on the process behind Senstad’s work: The Sugarcane Labyrinth.

Come and see The Sugarcane Labyrinth installed at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa as part of  Preternatural from December 9th, 2011 – February 12th, 2012.

See more of Senstad’s work here:

Sarah Walko’s Studio is Magical

Sarah Walko just sent us a handful of lovely photos of her installation-in-progress for Preternatural.

Here is a glimpse at the hundreds of incredibly intricate  test tube sculptures that will become part of Walko’s mixed media installation at the Canadian Museum of Nature, on display from December 9th, 2011 – February 12th, 2012 .

The final work will include the test tube sculptures pictured above, as well as other small wonders such as miniature landscapes, moss-filled lightbulbs, microscope slides, plants, and fish to name a few, and will be called:

It is very least what one ever sees (all that we share in these drawers) (myelin sheath) (birds linking landscapes) (and nets hold light and dark clouds, centuries, weather satellites) (they seep) (static, silence heresy), 2011, Sarah Walko


Making of Nox Borealis

Andrew Wright works with fabricator Christopher Solar to form one of the large curved photo panels that will become Nox Borealis, Wright’s work in Preternatural.

Nox Borealis will be on display as part of Preternatural at the Canadian Museum of Nature from December 9, 2011 until February 12, 2012.