22 - 24 November 2019
Nwando Ebizie's Distorted Constellations, presented as part of Liberty Festival, created an immersive installation using ambisonic sound and projections onto gauze to transport the audience into the imagined landscape of the artist’s perceptual reality. Here, visitors traveled through a fragmented labyrinth inspired by Ebizie’s rare neurological disorder, Visual Snow, a condition where the artist’s vision is continually full of swirling coloured, translucent dots (like a George Seurat painting), with glowing lines, auras, light bursts and halos.
Through Distorted Constellations Ebizie proposed an acceptance of a neuro-diverse spectrum as a radical way to make changes in society, establishing one in which all diversity is allowed space to flourish. She presented us with a visceral new world that draws upon the language of sci-fi and ritualistic practice to further warp and bend reality towards a landscape for new, transformative encounters. From this exploration of atypical perception, she encourages us to question how much we can trust our senses and therefore our understanding of our own environments. She asks us to recognise that our own unique neurology has an implicit effect on how we perceive the world - forming bias and prejudices - and map our place within it.
Distorted Constellations subverted the space it was located in order to go beyond its physical limitations. The electronic score, projections and recursive surfaces helped create this visceral new world by distorting senses of sight, sound, the vestibular sense (perception of body position in space). This process revealed to the audience how distinct each navigation of space is - further emphasising the artist’s call for a celebration and acceptance of individual diversities.
Through Ebizie’s personal quest, we were guided to tap into ritualistic practices of transformative healing that disorient space and present it as an illusion - left with the reminder that; (according to neuroscientists), reality is subjective, perception is fallible and how we experience the world is due to our own specific neurology.
Distorted Constellations was produced by Forma and commissioned as part of Liberty Festival.
Liberty was organised by The Mayor of London in partnership with Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019.
Stewart Alex Gardiner