Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Close your eyes. Imagine a gentle breeze rustling the branches of a budding plum tree. Can you feel the breeze? How does it sound? What does it smell like?

Over the weekend, I wandered out of the office and away from the troublesome computers to discover ~in the field’s sublime installation piece, ume, tucked away in a stairwell at Stills (on Cockburn Street). In seconds flat I was transported from the confines of cosmopolitan Edinburgh to an emerging spring orchard.

In the artists statement they explain, “ume captures the precise moment of the cyclical transition from winter to spring... ume comprises self-contained revolving images of plum blossoms in the form of thaumatropes [a popular Victorian toy] powered by solar cells.” Each thaumatrope is connected to a solar cell on the roof of Stills and twirls independently to the changing light conditions.

I’d say I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to art. I prefer it to occupy the space of a frame on my wall rather than an immersive experience. However, ~in the fields has managed to transcend my stalwart view with amazing success. My only regret is not finding it sooner – last Sunday was the final day of the exhibition. Definitely, one to watch!

For more information & movies of the exhibition:

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