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UMWELTEN – Eco-fields and other Universes

14 August 2019 @ 1:00 pm31 August 2019 @ 5:00 pm


Felicity Spear, in her exhibition Umwelten – eco-fields and other universes, has created circular paintings on wood, encircled by profiles of the human skull. They are speculations about the possibilities for other habitats or other universes beyond our sensorium at either a micro or macro level.

In 1909, the biologist Jakob von Uexküll introduced the concept of the umwelt to describe the small subset of the world which an animal is able to detect. This word expresses a simple but often overlooked observation; different animals in the same ecosystem tune in to different environmental signals which are fundamental to their communication and signification. While we accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented, so much goes undetected in our lives.

Our sensorium is enough to get by in our ecosystem, but is does not approximate the larger picture. The more science taps into the hidden channels of the electromagnetic spectrum, the more it becomes clear that our brains are tuned to detect a surprisingly small fraction of the surrounding reality. So the idea of the umwelt also captures the idea of unseen possibilities. Spear’s paintings map an eco-field of umwelten, creating a possible ecosystem of other universes.


14 August 2019 @ 1:00 pm
31 August 2019 @ 5:00 pm
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Stephen McLaughlan Gallery
Level 8, Room 16 Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC Australia


Felicity Spear
03 5276 1453
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