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Chelsea graduate’s work explores human consciousness and living with dementia

Satellite image of the UK at night. There are lights on across the country lighting up the image
  • Written byEleanor Harvey
  • Published date13 April 2022
Satellite image of the UK at night. There are lights on across the country lighting up the image
Memory, 2019 (film still), Pegeen Portrait. Image courtesy of Suki Chan, Film London and the Bluecoat

Throughout Spring 2022 The Bluecoat, Liverpool is presenting the largest overview to date of artist and filmmaker Suki Chan’s multi-platform project CONSCIOUS.

The MA Fine Art graduate from Chelsea, UAL uses moving image, photography and sound to explore our perception of reality.

Portrait photo of Suki stood against a a pale background. She's wearing blue jeans, a black jacket and white t-shirt, her hands are in her pockets and she's smiling into the camera
Suki Chan, 2021. Portrait by Katie Hyams

Her films take audiences on a journey and shine a light on subjects that are under-represented across the human condition: from sight loss to identity and belonging. Suki’s wider study of consciousness includes collaborations with people living with dementia. She explores how memory loss can destabilise our understanding of the present, as well as open-up other possible realities.

Still from the film. A close-up of an elderly woman's face.
Hallucinations, 2020 (film still), Pegeen Portrait. Image courtesy Suki Chan, Film London and the Bluecoat.

CONSCIOUS

The exhibition brings together the diverse, subjective perspectives of scientists and ordinary people, whose multi-layered stories change our preconceptions about individual and collective consciousness.

The exhibition includes photography, sculpture, virtual reality as well as three films Memory (2019); Hallucinations (2020); and Fog In My Head (2021).

Photo of a film set. There's big windows with cameras set up
Fog In My Head, location film shoot 2021, image courtesy the artist Suki Chan.
Still from the film A woman is standing in her kitchen looking into the camera
Fog In My Head, 2021 (film still). Image courtesy Suki Chan, Film London and the Bluecoat.

Fog In My Head, the most recent film in the CONSCIOUS series, was a commission by Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN). It contrasts real-world imagery with abstract scientific material. The viewer is taken on a visual and aural journey from the centre of a natural beehive, a developing brain, a home, an office and a forest.

The title refers to the quote “fog descending on the brain” Wendy Mitchell’s metaphor for how the neurocognitive disorder dementia makes her feel. Fog is an analogy for the confusion, disorientation and isolation that dementia brings.

Still from the film. A wooden floor with door leading outside, and long white curtains
Fog In My Head, 2021 (film still), image courtesy Suki Chan, Film London and the Bluecoat.

CONSCIOUS is being exhibited simultaneously across 2 galleries:

Short film of the making of Suki Chan: Conscious

Making of Suki Chan: CONSCIOUS