In this exhibition Tuomala examines what empathy means in 2021, in a post-Brexit, post-Covid, post-colonial Britain. She looks at what role empathy can play in helping us re-enter public life and re-discover physical closeness with each other once again. Her installation makes empathy – an often abstract and intangible feeling – into a physical and tangible form we can see, feel and enter. Tuomala will ask us to consider:
Is there space left for empathy?
Can we re-learn to be physically close?
What lives in the invisible spaces between us?
Where is the line between public + private space now?
How could we practice being together?
What will it take to make us feel safe with each other again?
For years Tuomala has been exploring the spaces between people: investigating the public, social, personal and intimate distances between us and how they influence our abilities to meaningfully connect with one another. In trying to understand why the unoccupied space between us is primarily defined as “negative space” through the absence of physical entities – as oppose to “positive space”, defined through the existence of emotional entities – Tuomala hopes to reframe how we occupy and share space.
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