Everything Flows: The art of Getting in the Zone at the De La Warr Pavilion

Ruth Hazard | 29 June 2012
girls on a hockey pitch
A still from Roderick Buchanan's photographic and film installation Memory Drill© the artist courtesy Film and Video Umbrella
Exhibition: Everything Flows: The Art of Getting in the Zone, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, June 30 – September 16 2012

Part art, part sport, part psychology, this exhibition aims to get to the heart of what it takes to be a top performing athlete.

The contributing artists haven’t taken the task lightly, employing the help of professional sports stars and leading academic brains to produce a series of image installations that look at the state of being "in the zone".

Dryden Goodwin’s single-screen projection piece, Poised, addresses the theme by looking at the grace and balance of young divers.

Dryden Goodwin's twin screen projection piece looks at the grace and balance of young divers© the artist courtesy Film and Video Umbrella
Working with top dance scientist Elsa Bradley, the artist produced a series of interlocking episodes which explore the physical and emotional dynamics of a female diving group, portraying the girls on their own, interacting with each other and under the imploring gaze of their coaches.

Looking at the rhythms and psychology of the pole vault, Susan Pui San Lok’s piece, Lightness, centres on a series of sequences by British Olympic hopeful Kate Dennison.

Lok worked with Nicky Clayton, the scientist-in-residence for Rambert Dance Company and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Cambridge University, to explore the complex cycles of training and competition, offering a unique insight into Dennison’s preparations and motivations.

Roderick Buchanan studied hockey and basketball squads for his video and photographic installation, Memory Drill, which looks at team spirit and shared accomplishment.

Based on close, repeated observation of the players, and in collaboration with sports scientist Dr David Shearer, the installation is a study into how personal achievement often reinforces the collective ethos.

A pole vaulter
Susan Pui San Lok's piece looks at the rhythms and psychology of the pole vault© the artist courtesy Film and Video Umbrella
British artists Matthew Cornford and David Cross have displayed their commission, The White Bear Effect, on a state-of-the-art LED screen, familiar from major sporting arenas.

The screen shows, in rapid succession, a highlights reel of golden sporting moments. These game-changing, record-breaking achievements are endlessly and compulsively replayed so that what was once special about them is quickly eroded.

The piece, created in dialogue with Dr Richard Ramsey from the School of Psychology at Bangor University, is named after the "white bear effect", in which the attempt to eliminate negative images in favour of positive ones (a technique employed by sportspeople of all disciplines) paradoxically causes the unwanted associations to return.

The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of talks and events which will offer an insight into the creative process of each of the artists and also look at the biomedical science behind the work.

  • Open 10am-5pm (6pm Friday and Saturday). From July 12: 10am-6pm (8pm Friday and Saturday). Admission free.
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