This week our Friday Feature’s focus is on Ibby NJ, a 3rd year Illustration student who has recently exhibited his project entitled ‘Integral’- featured in this post- a piece that explores environment, perceptions of colour, and space as a second body.
In our Friday Features we give one AUB student a feature article for one week, and we interview them to find out a little more about them and their work.
Our Chief Article writer Brittany Sutcliffe visited Ibby’s Exhibition.
Tucked away on the first left of studio five, we had “Integral”. Ibby had a few words for us before we entered; no more than three at a time, no shoes and to enter with a clear mind so to get as much from the experience as possible.
My shoes were off, my bag was down and I was ducking under to get inside. The first thing you see as you get up is a sign stating that “It’s okay for me to have everything I want”. The room was entirely pink, with a lampshade in the far corner that shining at no higher than waist height, giving me the impression that I was in someone’s version of heaven. There was shelving with an array of ornaments to the left as you entered and a coffee table with a pink fruit bowl to boot.
I was a little torn over the piece. Half of me wanted to embrace the atmosphere, the pink walls, the relaxing music. Having to crawl to get inside the piece made me feel like I was entering some sort of secret garden. The other half of me wanted to reject it; the household furnishings were there to make the space feel familiar and yet the positioning of the chairs made me feel like I was intruding, that it wasn’t me who was supposed to sit there. It felt like a lucid dream. There was this beautifully relaxing space, the dream, and the objects to bring me back down to earth, the reminder that I’m still awake.
I’m annoyed at my own scepticism for holding me back from seeing the piece in its entirety. The description of the piece explains that space is a second body to us. “Through space, we are able to live, breathe and shape the world we move in” so maybe I’m just being too self-conscious about it.
I couldn’t help but feel that the work was heavily influenced by James Turrell, someone you may recognise as the creator of the rooms Drake is seen to be dancing in for his music video “Hotline Bling”. Through simple, colourful, open spaces, Turrell creates other-worldly experiences. Regardless of my poor mind-clearing skills, Integral definitely still spoke to me on that kind of level.
On Friday we will be bringing this Friday Feature to a close with a video interview, same time same place.
Words by Brittany Sutcliffe // Photographs by Kate Wolstenholme