The majority of what the book has to say has the overarching theme on the idea that what we commonly call the mind and what we call the body are not two separate things, instead Johnson believes they are in fact both just parts of the one single process. The first section of the book – ‘Bodily Meaning and Felt Sense’ and here the author looks at engagement between the body and the world. ‘Life and movement are inextricably connected.’ (Johnson, 2007, p19) – the opening statement of chapter one, although this seems very obvious when stated in this way , it is something that is often forgotten, and movement is not just about making a journey from one space to another or general bodily functions, ‘…through our movements we get “in touch” with or world, taking its human measure.’ (Johnson, 2007, p19) Movement is therefore something which should not be overlooked as if meaningless, but it has so much more which it can tell about the nature of humans and the world around.
I think the idea of journeys within my subject work was heavily influenced by the work I did from my experience of field – particularly in Morocco. As the road was often a bit dirty with animal body parts lying around from the butchers stalls etc, and because I was generally too anxious to make eye contact with anyone – I found myself always following someone else in front , becoming fascinated by their movements, footstep and my own. From then on I’ve been more aware of the interactions between my feet and others with the ground and nature on ground level which often gets over looked.
I found this quite challenging as this was my first ‘real’ exhibition , I didn’t realise how stressful it would be deciding where to mount my work that would best suit it and with a very limited amount of space actually available. I had to be creative with the space available – I ended up mounting my work on the wall at about knee level, at first I wasn’t sure about this but when I thought bout it, it almost made more sense to have them there. The work was supposed to represent running your hand along a hedge so this is the natural height that your hand would fall at the hedge.
Pallasmaa (a well known architect ), wrote this book which primarily tries to highlight the importance of the entire sensory experience within architecture, and not just the singular focus on the visual impact which a building can have on a person. He had become aware and subsequently worried by the dominance of vision as the primary sense – which is the same argument I seek to address in my practice. This bias towards vision above the other senses is often referred to as Ocularcentrism. Pallasmaa goes further to explain what might be the consequences of this, as creating a sense of detachment and alienation – were we cannot make connections between the body and the building, the two are so separate that the body cannot make sense of itself within the space.
– In order to make sense of ourselves and the things around us we must have the ability to use all our senses to interpret whats happening – a multi sensory experience.
Recently I’ve been documenting my journeys when I come into contact with grass (when I remember) , looking back on these videos I am reminded of the how it felt to be there by the way the grass touched my legs, when it was wet how it made my shoes damp,and how the wind moved through the grass.
In these examples there is a strong connection between the activity of drawing and the memory of the subject. It is a helpful tool for me to make the connection with the place without any actual representation of myself being in that place. I think that this makes it more difficult for me to remember the experience and more difficult for anyone viewing the drawings to understand how I may have felt when doing the drawings.