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Aje Insider Creative Collective | Artist Laura Jade

A key integration of the Aje Chroma Visual Experience, delve into the inner world of illumination artist, Laura Lade, the creator of Brainlight, 2015.

 

Hypnotic and interactive, Brainlight has been crafted to explore the hidden aspects of the mind, live streaming the dominant brain frequencies of the wearer using biological design, LED lighting and brain-computer interface technology.

 

Worn at the Aje Chroma Visual Experience by model Atty Mitchell, come behind the scenes as the interactive piece comes to life. Laura also shares the nature behind her inherent curiosity and how this sparked her life's work between art and science. Be captivated now.

 

Find the first arrivals from Chroma Resort 21 available here.

Illumination Artist Laura Jade installs Brainlight, 2015 on model Atty Mitchell

A detailed network of LED receptors, take a closer look at Brainlight, 2015

“As an illumination artist, the one characteristic that links all my interests in art and science is a supreme curiosity as well as my love of light.”

Model Atty Michell wears Brainlight, 2015, and the Encircled Maxi Dress, arriving November

Brainlight (2015) is an extraordinary piece connecting neuroscience with art; what inspired you to create the piece? What ideas were you exploring?

 

As an illumination artist, the one characteristic that links all my interests in art and science is a supreme curiosity as well as my love of light. Many methods of exploring the mind have been developed throughout human history, yet most of us live with very little understanding of the underlying processes within our own minds. The catalyst for Brainlight was a curiosity to see what would happen if I could visualise the patterns of my own mind using light - where no interaction was required except the power of my own thoughts. I was eager to explore the creative possibilities of new bio-technologies, such as consumer EEG’s. These technologies are allowing artists like myself to take scientific techniques from clinical settings into public cultural spaces.

 

My goal was to explore the brain’s electrical signals in new ways and to make the inner workings of the mind interesting and accessible to the audience. The artwork transfers neuro-feedback therapy, a technique used to teach self-regulation of brain activity from a clinical setting to an artistic one by creating a sculpture that aesthetically embodies a live visualisation of brain activity, allowing a participant to have an intimate and unique interaction with their inner selves—to “meet their own mind”—externally. I was curious to see if a simplification of live brain activity, symbolically visualised through colour, could communicate a sense of a person’s inner reality to an audience and generate a meaningful experience. In doing so, the artwork asks the audience to imagine a future where technology may be able to enhance our ability to capture and share inner qualities, such as unspoken emotions and subtle forms of communication, that are innately human.

A moment in time, models walk within the installation space

Blink and you'll miss, model Grace Cameron wears the Vellum Maxi Dress, arriving November

How did it feel to see Brainlight (2015) integrated in Aje's Chroma visual experience? Did it inspire you from a new perspective?

 

It always amazes me the diverse range of reactions Brainlight garners in different contexts. Although the work has been seen in over in over 10 countries, in settings as varied as galleries, science conferences, schools, prisons, concerts and medical labs, this was my first opportunity to collaborate with a fashion house, and as always, it enabled me to view my work in a whole new light. Personally, the clothing I wear and the colours I surround myself with have a deep impact on how I feel. Until my collaboration with Aje, I had never interrogated the way in which my connection to colour and texture might be reflected in the artwork. Calibrating the “brain” before the event, surrounded by images of the fashion industry, I found myself thinking of my own style – where it comes from and which elements of myself, I choose to represent externally. I was able to observe the changes in my brain patterns as I underwent these thoughts, and then, in the manner that the piece demands, observe how my brain responded to witnessing these changes.

 

During the actual event, I was able to see how the model’s brain changed after putting on the clothes. In the test run, before we opened, her brain exhibited a lot of red – the colour I used to capture frequencies associated with excitement or stress; once she was in front of the audience however, her brain activity switched to a bright green, reflecting a “flow” state and capturing a performer in her element.

Up close and personal with Brainlight, 2015

“My goal was to explore the brain’s electrical signals in new ways and to make the inner workings of the mind interesting and accessible to the audience.”

Brainlight, 2015, captured within the Aje Chroma Visual Experience

A moment in time, models stand within the installation space

What place does Art hold in today's society?

 

It’s very hard to quantify the value of art, because sometimes its impact can be subtle or even subconscious. You might encounter something that makes an imprint on your mind, and subtlety shifts your thinking - perhaps on an imperceptible level - and only later on does the full impact become tangible.

 

Experiencing art nourishes our psychological needs which elicits a certain intrinsic pleasure. It provides a “sensory anchor” for our thoughts and emotions, like a physical manifestation of our collective cultural experience. It holds a mirror to who we are in ways that haven’t been articulated before.

 

Having encounters that stimulate ideas or shift your thinking outside of your own bias or world view is incredibly valuable, even if it’s hard to put a value on it in each individual instance. What most people forget is that most break-through ideas in both art and science are not “eureka moments” that come out of nowhere, they are usually based on being exposed to many small and varied influences that stimulate new ideas to fall into place.

 

There is a growing urgency for the arts to engage with and critique the complex challenges that we face globally. On a deeper level, art can flow back into all areas of life because ideas that have been imagined through art suddenly seem ascertainable. The future is far from knowable, but it is very easily inventible. Periods like the renaissance have shown us that art helps to provide us with a holistic approach to knowledge production where complex problems require more than simple singular solutions.

“The artwork asks the audience to imagine a future where technology may be able to enhance our ability to capture and share inner qualities, such as unspoken emotions and subtle forms of communication, that are innately human.”

Like a blur, models walk within the installation space

Model Atty Michell with Brainlight, 2015

The Chroma experience was crescendo to the feeling of hope. What are you hopeful for?

 

Amidst the chaos, there is so much potential for reinvention during this time of upheaval. I hope that the pandemic stimulates positive outcomes by dismantling old ways of doing things that don’t work anymore. I hope we learn to take better care of ourselves and each other.

 

 

Which was your favourite Aje piece featured in the Chroma visual experience?

 

All the pieces in the collection are beautiful. But one dress took my attention. It was the long, white layered ruffles of the white Serenity Maxi Dress. I particularly fell in love with it when the model was standing in a dark room under a single beam of light. In that moment, the dress became a force. It was utterly radiant, like it was generating its own light, as if illuminated from within. It looked otherworldly, as though it were the manifestation of a departed spirit. It has a timeless quality. The white layers appear centuries old, yet the design is futuristic.

 

 

What colour most resonates with you or connects with your current mindset or mood, and why?

 

Florescent beige. Just kidding. I think the emotional resonance of a particular colour is connected to our experience and memories. I had a bright yellow duckling as a pet as a child, and the joy of the colour as an adult is imbued with the happiness of that memory. Yellow makes me feel cheerful and energised.

Aje Insider : Laura Jade 

Photographer : Isaac Brown and Sonia De Pelle

 

Captured at the Chroma Visual Experience, Sydney, Australia

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