In order to free the prodigious work that is in him, the artist’s mind must be Incandescent.
– Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, 1929
The Incandescents is a major new body of work by Lisa Crowley with contributions from Jan Bryant, Gwyn Porter, Ngahuia Harrison, E. R. Graham and George Watson. Consisting of a multichannel video installation and a collaborative publication project, Crowley gathers together a number of concepts to seek an alternative to how capitalism ascribes different value to people, objects and work.
The video work pictures glowing crystals that slowly ebb between hues within the colour spectrum and tracking shots of pitted celestial terrains. Interspersed throughout the footage are excerpts from Christiaan Huygens’ 1690 text Treatise on Light that describes a poetically interconnected world through the properties of light and a female narrator strategising mechanisms for the cohabitation of hostile environments.
The publication component features writing by a selection of artists and writers about their life and work. Crowley was motivated to understand the pressures that artists face and how creative thought holds promise of evading the neo-liberal demands of our time. Here she was inspired by Virginia Woolf's concept of the incandescent mind, the notion that uninhibited creativity is born of non-binary psychology.
Through these two components, Crowley brings the natural phenomenon of light and the creative metaphor of illumination into conversation to explore how subjective and objective thinking are not separate but interconnected in complex ways that resonate with possibility.