Week 7: Artist Interview

Brianna Allen

This week’s artist interview was quite unique. I just happened to arrive just as Brianna was starting the second session of mediation. I decided, on the spot, to try it out and I am glad I did.IMG_5128

As it turns out, my decision to joint the meditation session was exactly the situation Brianna was trying to create for the class. She wanted to prompt that happenstance encounter just like she experienced earlier in her life.

When talking with Brianna afterwards spoke about how she was introduced to yoga. At the time she did ballet, and the building where she danced also had yoga sessions after she would dance. One day she just happened to stay and joined the yoga group. She loved it and it now meditates and does yoga every day. Now, her yoga and meditation bring her piece of mind in her daily life and she wanted to share that with our class, and anyone else on campus willing to try out this new experience.

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mimic the existing architecture in the space

Brianna filled the Werby Gallery with air containing ducts, metal pipes, and electrical conduit. She turned the lights to point up into the black ceiling instead of the white walls as was the norm in the other galleries. This was an interesting way to adapt the existing lighting to create a ambiance in the room.

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Another defining feature of Brianna’s gallery, was the audio she had continuously playing  in the room. The audio definitely followed the same theme as the rest of the gallery, mimicking the natural elements of the room. One of the tracks was composed of recordings made from the buildings around campus.

IMG_5124I really enjoyed the meditation session. One thing that Brianna said during the session that resonated with me was that we should be aware of the internal dialogue going on in our head. This was eye-opening as I thought about the thoughts I had while walking into the room. The little conversations I had with myself about what I was seeing in the room and what I was expecting to happen.

It was calming experience and made me aware of the mental state that I experienced throughout the day. I tried meditating myself the following mornings, and I feel as though it had a positive effect on the mental state that I carried into the day. The one thin g that was most rewarding for me, was getting away from the reliance on schedules and time that I was so used to during the day. Instead of setting a timer for a certain time and waiting for it to go off, I just meditated until I felt satisfied. The first time lasted less then ten minutes, but felt like quite a long time. It showed me just how reliant I had become on a constant stream of information and entertainment.

I asked Brianna why she chose 11 minutes. She said that 11, 21, and 31 minute meditation sessions had traditional historical significance that was also backed up by modern scientific studies. These studies confirmed the idea that these different durations of mediation allowed people to reached different levels in their mental state. While I can’t image being able to meditate for a half an hour without becoming distracted, I’m going to try to increase the time spent each morning and see if I notice any difference.

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