Tiffany Singh’s philosophies and practice encompass influences as varied as modernism, eastern and western spiritual beliefs, Jungian psychology and ancient cultures. With Maori, Indian and Pacific Island decent, her cultural diversity enables her to draw from the many pools of knowledge, philosophy and mythology.
This mix of cultures and aesthetics is evident in the work that consists largely of natural, mixed media installation combined with a consciousness around ceremonial and ritualistic materials gathered from the everyday. These ceremonial materials are culturally inclusive to create multiple layers of access to the work, with a focus towards transcending cultural biases and rejuvenating appreciation for the world around us. The use of the sacred, ceremonial and ritualistic refers to a multiplicity of meanings that pre-date Christian times and bridge the duality of western and eastern belief.
Symbolised through such objects as the apple, salt, lotus, wind chimes and incense, the religious association to the materials – and particularly the association of precious found objects – hopes to honour wisdom, enlightenment and the energies that reiterate Singh’s exploration of spiritual understanding.
Knock On The Sky Listen To The Sound (2011) was presented in Building 60, a open-air building in the Powerhouse Area on Cockatoo Island.
Knock on the sky listen to the sound is a Buddhist proverb of spiritual significance, first heard on a journey over the Himalayas in Ladakh, where the sky was so close we felt like we could knock on it. It seems an appropriate title, as the artwork transforms the space into an open-air musical instrument that, on initial contact, sounds as though it is coming from the sky. Chimes are hung, often in great numbers, near places of religious significance such as temples and shrines. The intention of the chimes is to allow the winds of fortune or ‘chi’ energy to flow freely, as wind chimes can influence how chi flows through a space. Here the chimes are believed to help slow positive energy as it approaches the building, inviting it inside from all four directions. The notion of pilgrimage is seeded in this work, as the chimes journey between the sites through audience participation. Framing part of this work as a pilgrimage suggests the proposal of the new Jungian archetype for the pilgrimage as a common human experience. The application of multiple sites creates a non-static developmental work that externally generates its own tools, channels and co-authorship.