Dawn is an immersive experiential art performance that invites the audience to step outside their own reality into an alternative sensory rich space. Within this, each person’s individual reaction to the sensory stimuli creates a deeply personal and captivating experience. This installation invites 1-10 people (depending on space available) to participate in a performance. Each participant is asked to wear a soft hand-made textile hood sculpted by the artist, and listen to an 8.5 minute audio.
Once the audience has been ‘hooded’ the lights in the room are switched off and the audio begins to fade into the space. The audio features a recording of the dawn chorus created by the artist at 4.30am at the high of summer in her family home in Kildare, Ireland. After approximately 2 minutes a single spotlight is very gradually illuminated. As the performance continues, the audio intensifies and the strength of the spotlight increases. The ‘hoods’ are designed to ensure that the viewer cannot see the room, they can only see the architectural pleats within the hood. As the light in the room increases, it penetrates through the top of the pleats to alter the viewer’s vista – changing the shadows cast within their private hood space. Finally, the spotlight is fully turned up for the final 2 minutes of the performance.
After 8.5 minutes, the audio comes to a sudden, abrupt end and the spotlight is switched off. The audience is once again in darkness and silence. The audience is invited to remove their hoods to individually and collectively reflect on their experience. As they remove their hoods and reflect on the performance of the dawn chorus they come to realise they have shared in an individual and group experience – they are encouraged to discuss and reflect on the reflective emotions of experiencing dawn that this brings.