A Sense of Place

An inspiring week in Plymouth attending the Balance Unbalance 2017 conference. A trans-disciplinary exploration of A Sense of Place across art, technology, science, ecology, social conscience, and imagined futures.

I presented a research paper discussing the experience of presence, exhibited the Orbit Series at Ocean Studios, Royal Willian Yard (continues until Sun Sept 10th) and screened RCA Fulldome Research Group films in the i-Dat.org Immersive Vision Theatre.

Conference highlights included a group excursion to the Eden Project, the exquisite smell of frangipani (a smell of summer), and inspiring conversations with new networks of like-minded artists, researchers and designers. A welcome break from my summer of rigorous academic writing.

Printing and Binding

A day in the workshop printing editions of my Orbit Series with RCA print master and technician Andy Richardson. Followed by tea, cake and a book binding planning meeting with designer Helga Schmid.

The Orbit Series will be exhibited at Royal William Yard in Plymouth during the Balance-Unbalance Conference in Plymouth in August 2017. A limited edition A Year of Light artist’s book will be published in September 2017.

The Observer Effect


The Observer Effect exhibition was the culmination of a collaborative research project with artist Johanna Bolton. The exhibition explored the process of observation as artistic investigation and was informed by the quantum theory of the same name, which proposes that simply through the process of observing, an observer alters the thing they are looking at. Detailed investigations into everyday objects, forms and occurrences revealed their underlying complexity and depth and suggested that the observer is equally altered through the act of observation.

observer_10 A specimen drawer from the Collection from the Museum of Light displays archived light samples.

observer_02 A visitor observes the 365 observations of light from A Year of Light, a project undertaken for the International Year of Light 2015

The exhibition included works from Michaela’s recent Daylight Observations project, in which changes in the luminance, intensity and colour of daylight are recorded from selected locations over a specified duration.

The 365 observations of light, 365 images for Michaela’s recent project A Year of Light. An image/observation of light was posted each day on Twitter throughout 2015 for the International Year of Light.

Detail of the images from the A Year of Light project.

Daylight Observations No.1 (Summer, July 2015) and No.2 (Winter, December 2015).

Detail from Daylight Observation No.1 (Summer, July 2015).

The Motion of Matter


The Motion of Matter was a collaborative research project and exhibition with artist Johanna Bolton based upon Aristotle’s description of motion ‘as the passage of matter into form’. Aristotle postulated that no observation of the physical world could ignore the principles of motion, which he classified into four categories:

“motion which affects the substance of a thing
motion which brings about changes in quality
motion which brings about changes in quantity
motion which brings about locomotion”


Through structured and intimate observations, the Motion of Matter investigated the multitude of ways motion changes our interpretations of and interactions with the material world. Based upon the durational daylight observations begun during the residency at the Old Lookout Gallery in July 2015, Michaela’s work in this exhibition explored the interaction between light and motion. Her process of observing changes in light from a single location across a day became equally focused upon the experience of stillness as it did about the motion of the orbiting earth.


The exhibition included Projection Boxes and Light Specimen Drawers from the Collection of the Museum of Light as well as Michaela’s durational Daylight Observation prints. Johanna’s works included two and three dimensional sculptural objects, moving image and photographic prints.



Photographs by Dominic Tschudin.

One night, two countries, three shows

Friday 29th May seemed like another ordinary working day, most of it was spent assessing undergraduate Illustration & Animation portfolios at the Cambridge School of Art. Life has been so busy lately there hasn’t been any time for reflection, so any current activity tends to erase those that have gone before. it was only when I was walking to the train, in the last of the evening sunshine, after the work was done and I’d enjoyed a gin and tonic at the Six Bells, it occurred to me that it was in fact a quietly momentous evening. I had three art works performing and screening across the world in one night. Andrée Greenwell’s Gothic performed in the Sydney Vivid Festival, Orbit No.1 screened at the Zeiss Planetarium FullDome Festival in Jena and Circa’s Carnival of the Animals performed at the Come Out Children’s Festival in Adelaide. And I was walking quietly home without any of the excitement of being there, but with a deeply satisfying sense of achievement.

gothic_08 Gothic performs at the Seymour Centre in Sydney.

orbit-no2 Still frame from fulldome animation Orbit No.2.

cota_16 Shark attack in Circa’s Carnival of the Animals.