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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibwe-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the National Homeland of the Red River M├ętis. More

The Essentialists Exhibition


Artwork Gallery

Photograph of dried leaves, flowers and plant stems
Abstract painting of leaves and flowers
Abract painting

Artist Statement

Artist Name: Sydney Millett

Title: Natures Essence: between evolution and decay

Medium: Forage natural materials, digital painting and photography

Size/Dimension: 25 seconds

Year: 2020


Artist Statement:

This piece was influenced by Jane Bennet’s essay “The Force of Things,” where she

introduces “thing power,” an idea that “life [is] less a thing and more of a happening

process.” I wanted to communicate a sense of aliveness that transcends the

constant changing of forms. Even though natural materials/bodies are changing

and decaying over time, a sense of aliveness is communicated through heartbeats and

breath — two constants that I reference through the fading technique of changing

images during the video.

Also taking note from Donna Harraway’s compost-mindset, the video invites us to

recognize how we are in the same rhythms of nature and are also evolving and

decaying constantly — and that the most real sense of aliveness is found in the process

itself, not the materials.