The Blue Room
Today there is a proliferation of television programmes featuring psychics, ‘Ask a Psychic’ magazine columns, and growing communities of spell sellers and psychic mediums online and performing on stages around the globe.
Does all this suggest an increasing belief in psychic phenomena? Could it be that in a time of global economic crisis and all manner of other potential crises, it is comforting to believe that there is more to this world of ours than the physical and rational?
Curated by artist Pippa Sanderson, The Blue Room features artwork from Andrea du Chatenier, A. L. August and I. A. Clifton, Lonnie Hutchinson, Saskia Leek and Violet Faigan, Louise Menzies, Dane Mitchell, Rebecca Pilcher, Johanna Sanders and Stuart Shepherd.
The Blue Room was a house in Dunedin where Spiritualists Clive Chapman and his niece Pearl Judd conducted séances in the 1920s. Spiritualists believe that the spirit of a person exists beyond their body and that the living can communicate with the dead.
This exhibition presents work of 12 artists who were invited to respond to the idea of the Blue Room and the psychic activity that took place there. Through their individual reflections, the artists also offer a wider view on perceptions of the paranormal in the contemporary world. Some of the artists have approached the topic as believers and some as skeptics.
The Blue Room exhibition, catalogue and tour was made possible with the generous support of the Chartwell Trust, UCOL, Rob Garrett Contemporary Fine Art, Wallace Arts Trust, Hamish McKay Gallery, Jonathon Smart Gallery, Jim and Mary Barr and Pic Pac. A timely contribution from CNZ has brought the show to the Pah Homestead.
The exhibition catalogue, The Blue Room: Thirteen Artists Respond in a Psychic Way (2009) is available for purchase for $15 at The Pah Homestead. It features essays in response to The Blue Room by writers Jon Bywater and Rebecca Rice.
Especially for The Blue Room at The Pah Homestead, Andrea du Chatenier ordered a spell “for the mysitcal truths” of all who enter the exhibition. A performance of this spell can be viewed here.