Spirit Rapping         

Galleri Hvelvet, Oseana kunst og kultursenter, Os, Norway, 2024

The installation Spirit Rapping consists of photographs, sculptural elements, scent, and light.
The material of the sculptural elements and the vertical blinds that divide the room is PVC.
Vertical blinds made of this material are commonly found in cold rooms to separate the cold and warm areas.

The photographs were taken during fieldwork in Rainbow Valley, a sacred site for the Upper Southern Arrernte people, the traditional landowners,
in the Northern Territory of Australia. They call the place Wurre, and it is associated with rainmaking stories.
The reserve was established in 1990 to protect the unique sandstone formations and the indigenous Australian art, artifacts, and sacred natural objects around a large sandstone cliff. The sandstone layers in the main formation resemble colored stripes in a rainbow, with red orange shades of iron-rich sandstone creating a strong contrast with the lighter colored sandstone that turns pale yellow or gold in the late afternoon sun.

Nel's photographs show tracks and impressions in the sand from various animals and insects. They make us wonder about what might have left these tracks, and what marks we leave ourselves.
The installation divides the room in two, with a material that is usually used to separate a cold and warm room. This division is also emphasized by the strong contrast between the white walls and the black material. This can be interpreted as the division between dark and light, inside and outside, black and white - well known dichotomies. Or perhaps constructed dichotomies like nature and humans, good and evil, us and them. Or perhaps as an expression of the separation in the reserve where the exhibition's photographs were taken.
Is the reserve preservation or storage? What is certain is that the scent from the vertical blinds that divide the room cannot be stopped but spreads everywhere.  And the black curtain also functions as a mirror. From both sides.

Archival digital prints, 100 x 76 cm, Edition of 3 + 2AP