Joanna Brown

Waiting to enter the space created a sense of anticipation- seats were limited- and the sense of occasion was palpable. On entering we are faced with a large construction occupying most of the space in the room, and around it are arranged chairs, one to each slot cut in the side of the construction. We take our seats, as if at a dinner party, but we are isolated from each other. Six of us sit, but each can only see their direct neighbors on either side. The outside of the construction is untreated, but smooth. The slots cut in the side are at about head height- it’s instinctive and natural to lean forward and look through to the interior. Inside every surface is painted white, and it is startling to see five pairs of eyes looking with you. Inevitably, as there is nothing else noteworthy inside, the others’ eyes draw your gaze, in particular those of the person sitting across from you. No other part of them is visible, nothing to distract or divert your gaze, only the eyes remain, looking back at you. Expressions are hard to read with no facial clues, but eyes widen and sparkle in reaction to this pure and intimate act of looking.

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