HAMBURG – Most architectural installations aim to give viewers a memorable experience. When artists tackle a certain type of spectacle and attempt to share it through their work, the results can be really exciting.
Presented at the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg, Leigh Sachwitz’s InsideOut captures the overwhelming beauty of a storm within the illuminated outlines of a garden greenhouse. ‘I didn’t realize that rain was such a big part of my life,’ says the founder of design studio Flora&faunavisions. ‘I’m from Scotland, where the skies can be so dramatic that you experience all four seasons in just one day.’
To realize her concept, she teamed up with composer and producer Andi Toma. The multimedia environment they concocted pairs a visual architectural element with a technique called audio mapping. A skeletal aluminium framework with translucent fabric walls forms a sixfold backdrop for projected video animations that simulate a range of natural phenomena: think thunder, lightning, cloudburst, twister, sunlight. Toma made a sound map for all six screens to achieve Dolby Surround quality. ‘He actually recorded the sound of rain on glass,’ says Sachwitz, who mentions that some people in the audience have managed to emerge from their initial state of astonishment to take pictures of the piece and share them online. ‘A lot of them show the video between frames, depicting images that I’d never seen before. It’s amazing that people were able to create content through my installation.’
The piece is set to travel to Munich, Vienna and Amsterdam. When asked if she’d like to try a different architectural scale, Sachwitz has no doubts. ‘It’s important for the experience to be intimate, so the shed has to be small. But you can also experience it from outside, as many people did, so the space could be bigger. It needs room to breathe.’