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.


As we round the corner to the final stage of Preternatural, Norwegian artist Anne Katrine Senstad returns, this time flooding St. Brigid’s with ambient light, colour, and resonance for her site-specific video and sound installation, Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid.

Colour Kinesthesia is part of a larger body of work by Senstad, which explores the multi-sensorial experience of the body enveloped in light and sound. At St. Brigid’s, a video project­ion flooding the rear of the space emits a striking arrangement of colour sequences: a startling blood red — a vibrant blue — a warm green — a stunning yellow, which transgresses through the space to envelop and seemingly disintegrate its architectural details.

The cinematic score that will accompany Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid was composed by eminent musician/composer/producer and DJ, JG Thirlwell.

Below is a short preview of Senstad’s Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid:

Kinesthesia for Saint Brigid by Anne Katrine Senstad will run from Jan. 29th  – Feb 17th 2012 at St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts.

Opening dates:

— Feb 1: Gallery hours, 5-8PM

— Feb 15: Gallery hours, 5-8PM

— Feb 17: Closing reception, 5-8PM

[ ..#..#.... ]

This past Saturday, St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts hosted the unveiling of Avantika Bawa‘s site-specific installation, [ ..#..#.... ].  The vibrant swaths of yellow adorning the deconsecrated church, coupled with sublime repetitions of organ music mixed with electronic sounds in the key of E, provided  a rejuvenating break from grey winter skies.  Thanks to all those who joined us for Saturday’s opening and the accompanying artists talks with Avantika, Shin il Kim and Adrian Göllner .  Below are a few photos we snapped that afternoon:


 Avantika Bawa’s [ ..#..#.... ] will be open to the public at St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts (corner of St. Patrick and Cumberland) tomorrow (January 10th)January 17th, and January 19th from 1pm – 8pm.



Feeling Yellow: An Avantika Bawa Sampler

Both Avantika Bawa and Shin Il Kim have now arrived in the city and begun preparations for their respective exhibitions at St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts and Patrick Mikhail Gallery, opening this weekend.

Avantika Bawa’s installation/sound piece [ ..#..#.... ] will be presented this Saturday at 4pm, followed by a panel discussion between artists Bawa, Shin Il Kim, and Adrian Göllner at 5pm.

[..#..#...] addresses the architecture of St. Brigids, its history as a church and the surrounding topography.
In this work, the ethereal space between the altar and the church organ of St. Brigid’s is called to attention, through a series of sculptural and acoustical punctuations. From the balcony of the church (by the organ) emanates a sound projection – a looped composition made with variations of the ‘E’ key. (The E key is closest to the color yellow, which is a major part of the installation). By using new technology, it emulates the function of the organ that is currently non functional, thus hinting at the past. At the opposite end, by the altar sits a ramp, constructed specifically in response to, and for the site. In between these opposite ends is an interspersion of trapezoidal shapes that hang from the pews. The trapezoidal shapes and the shape of the platform are a nod to the system of Linear Perspective, the rules of which were discovered during the Renaissance; a time of reasoning and logic. If made physical, the Vanishing Point of the shapes’ orthogonal lines would fall around the altar, an approach common in early Renaissance art.
Yellow, the dominant color in [..#..#...] is psychologically connected to growth and life and is a direct response to St. Brigid’s, the patron saint for creativity. Further these blasts and pulses of yellow serve to compliment and energize to the surrounding white of Ottawa in December.
Through this work, I hope to add a new energy to the area, create an open space for contemplation, and a finally a dialogue between the architecture of the current with the mysticism of the past.

- Avantika Bawa

Below, we’ve compiled a few images of Bawa’s panels of yellow as a small sampler, before the real event on Saturday.  Enjoy!



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