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> ARTNAOS a personal sanctuary
naos i) inner portion of a Greek temple, enclosed within walls and surrounded by colonnaded porticoes ii) wooden or stone Egyptian shrine in which the spirit of a deity was ever-present
ARTNAOS is a new interactive work from artist Sally Sheinman. A brightly painted wooden cubicle, it is a contemplative private space, which will be installed in hospitals in London and Birmingham during the summer, before being exhibited at The Collection in Lincoln in November. Anyone who has spent time in a hospital will understand how valuable it can be to find a place away from the busy waiting rooms and clinical areas to relax.
ARTNAOS is a personal sanctuary that will enhance the hospital environment by inviting people inside a quiet space for brief moments of peace and individual reflection.
ARTNAOS will be a room for one person, an accessibly installed space for them to enter and spend contemplative time alone. With space outside to write – and symbolically divest oneself of – worries, the structure is envisaged as a ritual chamber which participants can enter, drawing strength and nurturing within for their personal healing. Inspired by religious and psychotherapeutic practices, the work echoes the idea of the holy shrines located within ancient Egyptian and Classical Greek temples which were believed to house the gods. The exterior will display a series of worry beads and intricate hand-painted sculptures – a contemporary artistic equivalent of the objects used by various cultures to personify and ‘draw’ anxieties and worries away from the self. When ritually divested of worry, the participant is ready to enter the space, which functions in a similar way to either a Buddhist meditation chamber or a therapeutic room.
In the sometimes unsettling or stifling public spaces of a modern city or institution, ARTNAOS allows the individual to quietly re-enact performance traditions that encompass spiritual, therapeutic and intensely personal aspirations. The same ritual traditions are evoked on a more austere and monumental, collective scale by, for example, pilgrims leaving a prayer in Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall or floating a flower on the Ganges.
ARTNAOS is a colourful collaborative work which fuses the philosophical and the performative in a vibrant yet lighthearted interactive sculptural installation of hope and playful optimism.