[ISEA2018] Artist Statement: Colleen Alborough — Balance

Artist Statement

In the play, A Delicate Balance (1966) by Edward Albee, the characters Harry and Edna arrive unexpectedly at their friends Agnes and Tobias’s house, with a request to stay for a while, as they need to escape an unnamed terror. In explaining this terror, Harry and Edna state:

HARRY: There was nothing … but we were very scared.

EDNA: We … were … terrified.

HARRY: We were scared. It was like being lost: very young again, with the dark, and lost. There was no … thing

… to be … frightened of, but …

EDNA: We were frightened … and there was nothing.

As a starting point, Balance draws inspiration from this quote. The animation explores the relationship between real and imagined fears. It considers the extent to which we can sometimes feel controlled by invisible, unnamed terrors. In mapping imaginary landscapes, Balance aims to reflect upon the negotiations and manoeuvres made within the complex, at times disconcerting and chaotic space of South Africa. By uttering the fear and searching for ways to describe the phantoms, Balance endeavours to present a way to deal with the feelings such fears inspire. A sense of play is used to confront these nameless terrors. With a spirit of mockery and laughter, I hope to highlight an element of the absurd present in the strange worlds of imagined fears.

  • Colleen Alborough is a multimedia artist and printmaker living and working in Johannesburg, South Africa. As an artist she is interested in the intersection between traditional art media and digital technologies. Thematically, her creative work explores the relationship between sense and place: namely, how a place can influence a person’s sense of self and wellbeing. Alborough’s current body of work comprises wall installations that include physical computing and electronic components such as Arduino boards, servo motors and sensors. Alborough is based at Arts on Main, Johannesburg, working full time as an artist and creativity coach. She is represented by Galerie Seippel in Köln, Germany.  galerie-seippel.de/colleen-alborough; art.co.za/colleenalborough/

Supported by the National Arts Council