The Weight Of Water - Elaine Hoey
The Weight of Water is an extraordinary immersive animation that fuses virtual reality and gaming technology to address the ongoing global refugee crisis. For each viewer – one-at-a-time and for 8 minutes - that crisis is no longer an abstraction, an item on the news or a front-page photo. Instead it becomes a lived experience, collapsing the distance that normally protects us from the impact of such events and making us ‘witnesses’ rather than safely detached spectators. Wearing a virtual-reality headset, each viewer joins refugees on a boat and is both observer and fellow-traveler as they undertake a treacherous journey. Words, sound and images create a sensory field that enacts the perils of seeking asylum in Europe, offering us increased understanding of these traumatic and grim experiences.
Elaine Hoey creates interactive installations, appropriating gaming aesthetics and techniques, such as virtual reality, motion capture, 3d virtual avatars and environments. Her work explores the intersections between the media, technology and politics.
Hoey is an award-winning artist who recently completed a Masters in Fine Art at NCAD. In 2016 she was awarded the prestigious RDS Taylor Art Award for her virtual reality installation The Weight of Water which, following The Visual Arts Awards Exhibition at the RDS was exhibited at Futures at the RHA; Design and Violence, a collaboration between the Science Gallery, Dublin and MoMA, New York. Hoey has recently exhibited new virtual reality works Stranger Than Fiction Is Fact at NCAD and Blueprint for a Virtual Nomad at Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda.
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Curated by Sharon Murphy, Draíocht Curator-in-Residence 2017