Sophie Lascelles
Forest  2007
card cutout and slide projection
In the dark woods

Imagine a forest in a darkened room. The time is late afternoon; you see the clear sky through the branches. Trees cover the walls and reach into the space. Instead of wind we hear the hum of slide projectors. As you enter the room the images shift and flutter, bulge and come away from the walls. You move through the trees and the light alters and flickers. Looking closer the image becomes grainy and you notice the trunk is made from cardboard, and string, and masking tape.

Her current practice focuses on perception and an interruption of the viewer’s space using three-dimensional projection. Working with 16 mm film and 35 mm transparencies she explores the way projection changes the nature of space and how we relate/interact with it. She is interested in the connection between physical reality and filmic reality and try to occupy a place between fact and fiction, pervaded by a sense of elusiveness, a search for something that exists as much in the imagination as anywhere else

Landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock.1

She has become increasingly interested in the notion of the ‘natural’ in nature and the landscape. Beginning by photographing the landscape I then work site specifically within a space and construct a scene using multiple projection, cut out paper, light and shadows. The space set out mimics both the flatness of a theatrical set and the illusion of space as in early optical toys and pre cinema apparatus, portraying nature unnaturally. Nothing is hidden, in fact everything is transparent: twenty or so projectors, cardboard trees stuck with tape, cables trailing, bits of wood propping. Within the chaos points of focus emerge; we are seduced by the effect, and though we see the device, we are drawn in nonetheless. The viewer plays a part in this illusion, distorting, shifting and erasing images whilst negotiating the space. When the viewer looks again, a gradual shift and change occurs, a reorganisation of information, they are unsure where the wall or model starts and the projection ends.

But I’ve been thinking that maybe people do that …once in a while we disappear and shift into a different space or a pocket of time.2

1. Simon Schama Landscape and Memory London 1996
2. Janet Cardiff The Secret Hotel Germany, Kunsthaus Bregen 2006