Dates: Weds 15 Sept – Fri 8 Oct 2021
Private View Tues 14 Sept 5:30 to 7:30pm (free)
Access Space at the Food Hall, (opposite the Site Gallery), 62 Brown Street, Sheffield, S1 4RF
Artist Camille Baker’s new work INTER/her takes her personal experience and those of other women who have had post-reproductive diseases and pain to create a Virtual Reality, sound, and haptic*, fully immersive artwork. The work explores the psychological issues of womanhood, and the sense of self.
Artist’s website https://inter-her.art
INTER/her is based on Baker’s experience and journey through the healthcare system while she was treated for a post-reproductive disease in 2016. The ideas and development of the work emanates from experiencing women’s silence, conflicting information, and inconsistencies in support for women’s health.
Baker was also inspired by the stories she started to hear from friends and family about their reproductive disease experiences, which seemed to be hidden or kept to themselves until she began to speak up about it. Baker wanted the artwork to allow the seeing of the unseen and give insight and emotional awareness of a subject that is little known or talked about.
The themes in the work include issues of female identity, sexuality, body image, loss of body parts, pain, disease and cancer. The work also represents the lived experience of women’s pain and anger, conflicting thoughts through self-care and the growth of disease. Feelings of mortality are explored through a medical process in male-dominated medical institutions and a dearth of reliable information.
The artwork developed out of a layered soundscape of the stories Baker collected and ambient sound design and music with an all-women team. Interaction designer Maf’j Alverez, and concept artist Sarah Büttner helped her create the visual environment and electronics. Fashion designer Bushra Burge worked with Baker to develop the haptic corset worn by exhibition visitors, and sound artist Kat Austen designed the sound experience.
The work is presented inside a physical bespoke dome tent in the centre of the gallery space with a vulva-shaped opening and seats for participants inside. Each participant is dressed in a ‘haptic corset’ before entering the tent, which is embedded with vibration actuators in different locations on the lower abdomen with different intensities and patterns. Sensations will be felt on the body that are triggered by the stories that will play through the 360 spatialised audio inside the dome.
Camille Baker said: “The INTER/her project comes directly from my own experience in fighting – and winning – against ovarian cancer throughout 2016 and 2017. This intense battle gave me the imperative to make something personal through my art practice; to give something back to other women, based upon my own experiences and journey through the healthcare system. I have used Virtual Reality that can be experienced within an immersive physical installation space, to take people on a journey deep into a woman’s body and to resonate with theirs, or the experiences of women they know. I have created an inviting space to envelop and comfort visitors, with the real and virtual installation designed to transport you fully through ambience, smell, sound and sight.”
Women will be able to share their personal experiences afterwards and record them if they wish. Women’s health information and charity contacts will be available as they exit the exhibition.
Date: Weds 15 September – Fri 8 October 2021
Opening times: 11:00 and 18:00 Monday to Friday
Tickets £11 with discount for students/unemployed
Venue: Access Space at the Food Hall, (opposite the Site Gallery), 62 Brown Street, Sheffield, S1 4RF
Pre-booking advised but not required, 40 minute slots are available for up to 3 people from the same family or support bubble. Cleaning will take place between sessions.
Tel 07471 120449
Visitors’ information: https://inter-her.art/visit/info/