Outside In – Installation, Film and Photography by Nicole Wassall


March 22nd 2013

Do we read ‘outside in’ as easily as we read ‘inside out’?

We are used to the term ‘inside out’ so automatically know what is meant. However, we do not use ‘outside in’ (which has the same basic meaning) as often so our brain has to do something slightly different to understand what is implied. It processes the information differently with different parts of the brain. And incredibly many people can actually feel that difference.

It is this type of juggling with feeling that characterizes the work termed ‘Neuroart’ in the exhibition ‘Outside in’ by Nicole Wassall. The essence of which is the re-sculpting of the way our representations acquire meaning and power, balanced on an understanding of neuroscience. Where an understanding of what we experience and how we react is based on what neuroscience reveals is happening in our brain at a neuro level.

Nicole describes her practice as using “an understanding of neuroscience to push open the swing doors of hunches and blur the dotted lines between senses and perception. Neuroscience on its own is a theory of flat surfaces. It needs the laws of unplanned consequence that thread through life for it to resonate.” From her perspective neuroscience is one of the most exciting areas in art because of its potential to push the boundaries of contemporary art – something she feels has been in stasis for far too long.

The viewer does not need a technical knowledge of the intricacies of neuroscience to be able to appreciate the work that Nicole produces. There is no daunting scientific equipment and no hint of anything that looks suspiciously like a science project pretending to be art. Instead she takes the time to explain that her pieces work on three levels. Firstly a clean and simple aesthetic, whose purpose is to be pleasing to the eye but not to distract from her theoretical practice. On the second level, she uses the every day in what she refers to as the “integral poetic ruse”. This is the apparent subject of the work, such as a metaphor or theme. And finally she weaves into this neurological triggers, the ‘outside in’ rather than the ‘inside out’.

So whilst contemporary art often eludes a clear articulation of its artistry, neuroart, does feel as though it has a tangible idea of what it is and that it has the potential to grow, just as the related field of neurosience grows. Although, when asked if in her opinion Neuroart is the Holy Grail of art Nicole was quite clear ‘it’s not about that, it’s about what the search opens up’.

Exhibition Dates 10th –14th April 2013

Exhibition Private View with artists talk 10th April 2013 – 6.30 pm – 9.30 pm

Fiumano Projects / Fiumano Fine Art ,27 Connaught Street, London,W2 2AY

T: 020 7402 6241 / E:projects@fiumanofineart.com