wonder : wander is an immersive installation about finding sanctuary in walking. The commission is in response to Gala Gallery’s biannual Open Call exhibition for artists living or working in County Durham. The work responds to Durham’s 2020 celebration of The Year of Pilgrimage and the Northern Saints by creating a contemporary sanctuary in the city. Together with participants from mental health charity RT Projects, artists Chris Plant and Alice Highet spent time walking along parts of the pilgrim ways, that end at Durham City’s sanctuary, Durham Cathedral. As they wandered, they took time to watch, listen and find moments of wonder in their surrounding, making videos and sound recordings using smart-phones; documenting their own experiences of walking the pilgrims way. From these recordings, the artists have created an atmospheric and ethereal, audio-visual installation. wonder : wander invites people to step outside the fast pace of everyday life, slow down and find their own sanctuary.
Chris Plant (b.1967 Birmingham) explores how immersive environments can affect our perceptions of time and space, triggering memories, emotions and states of mind. Mostly working with projection, light, and often involving sound, he works with both old and new technologies to form experiences beyond the everyday.
Alice Highet (b.1975, London) is Interested in time, perception and slowness. Her practice explores the space between internal and external experience. She projects moving-image and sound onto sculptural installations of varying scales; large immersive works inviting embodied experience and miniature works inviting contemplative reverie.