By the Roots: Refuge In The Sky
Toronto-based Mason Studio have unveiled a new art installation within their multi-purpose studio space which explores the idea of how space and interior surroundings can contribute to the lasting power of memories.
Titled Refuge In The Sky, the installation takes the universal experience of nature and puts it into a seven-foot floating island of lush and living greenery within an industrial studio.
“There are memories from our lived experiences that we can vividly recall and others that are fleeting moments in time. We are curious to understand the impact of our interior surroundings and how they may contribute to the lasting power of memories,” says Stanley Sun, co-founder and creative director of Mason Studio. “In Refuge in the Sky, we take the universal experience of nature and put it into an unfamiliar and novel context – a seven-foot floating island of lush and living greenery within an industrial studio. Floating just above head height, viewers are confronted with the deep roots of the foliage, a perspective that is unfamiliar.”
“This contrast between our familiarity with nature and the unfamiliarity of the perspective is the novelty that we expect to create long-term memory formation,” says Sun.
“The difficulty is how to best navigate the push and pull between novelty and familiarity. Novelty tells us what is important to remember. On the other hand, familiarity tells us what we can ignore but helps us retrieve the information later. Too much novelty and you have no way to place it in your cognitive map, but too much familiarity and the information is similarly lost.”
— Per Sederberg, “Why the ‘peculiar’ stands out in our memory” (ScienceDaily, 2017)