FREYJA SEWELL – holistic technology

Love - Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

Italiano (Italian)

Freyja Sewell holistic approach to life and creation reflects her idea of the world as a “vital, living formation of mutual interdependence created by consciousness.”

Her eclectic work, as a multidisciplinary artist and designer, creates a common ground where Art, science and spirituality can meet. Through the communication and interaction of these disciplines, she brings to life multilayered projects based on meditation, digital manipulation, costume design, performance and space design.

As a designer, she has spent much time researching biophilic design principles and as an artist, she inquires into the human role within nature.

“Nature does not only exist ‘out there’ in reservations or parks, it is within us, indeed is it what we are made from. I am dedicated to creating work that will in some way contribute to moving humans back into a place of balance, for example by helping people to rediscover their innate connection through immersive art experiences or everyday design choices.”

She approaches creation and work as play, gathering inspiration from science fi­ction, Buddhism and biophilic design “to craft optimistic future narratives and protest art projects relating to living issues.”

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

BIOSPACESHIPS

BioSpaceship is a mini-series influenced by the Daoist conception of flow, of work as play. “In the universal and meaningless flow of things, each one has a role, as if following a plan.” In Daoism, the notion that all phenomena are linked together in an infinite network of forces interacting in an infinite flow is one of the cardinal principles. The environments of this fascinating series are considered small parts of much larger concepts, the artist has been working on for years.

The creation is led by the pleasure of following ideas and work in the present moment, with the available resources. It’s about channelling ones’ energy in a direction where it can freely move, overcoming “some fixed ego idea of a future path or desires.”

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

The artist places herself in the year 3020, imagining a world where humans have “Overcome Covid, systemic racism, climate change and all the other numerous serious issues that beset us in 2020.”

In her future, humans live in an almost balanced (non-static) system of reciprocity, a “near-perfect symbiotic balance” with nature, technology and self.

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

Freyja’s BioSpaceShips are protected spaces where nature is human-sized and necessary to the species wellbeing.

Different environments are available to the inhabitants and passengers of the spaceships. Within these “Arboriums”, they can experience the therapeutic effect of nature through the involvement of all the senses.

These natural ecosystems are used to heal the senses, they can be touched and experienced: “Members volunteer to tend the gardens, immersing their hands in the dirt, soil and earth, feeding their microbiome, exchanging cells with their environment.”

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

A Mind Gym is available, to train the human’s brain “at times faulty and dangerous”. Meditation is the most popular choice among many different methods and technologies available at the gym.

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

Freyja’s journey begins at age 15, during a time when nothing seemed to make sense when death seemed very close. A great sense of loneliness was the only sensation felt as a reality. A suspended time of medicines and waiting.

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

But it was also a time when the artist was able to understand the ways her brain works, how to manage its ups and downs for a “mind that serves me better”.

Meditation, psychoanalysis, sleep, the teachings of Taoism and flow were a large part of her healing process.

“Metacognition in a lifelong project, an endless design task, or act of loving creativity. I believe a multifaceted approach is best, mirroring the modular composition of the mind. I gave up on waiting to be ‘done’ and accepted the ebb and flow of my moods as inevitable tides of life, mirroring nature’s seasons. As time went by I began to view my mind differently, and this view once gained is hard to forget.”

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

Hoping to find elsewhere, step by step towards knowledge, for a journey that will never end. The artist imagines the developments of these travels in a new world where the imagination is launched to “nurture new realities”.

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

“I wholeheartedly believe the key to these optimistic dreams is first to fully embrace the concept of mutual interdependence on our planet, to emotionally connect with the concept of ‘Oneness’ beyond a statement or slogan. Imagine a species of humanity that has achieved this, who has embraced our connection with our environment so fully that when we reach new homes we will change ourselves rather than that world. Rather than terraforming planets to meet our needs, we may choose to enviroform our bodies, brains and society to meld seamlessly with new habitats.”

The enlarged concepts of collaboration and interdependence are key to her life-philosophy and ways of working: “we must relearn to think as a collective, with care, consideration and compassion for others, both human and non-human, as well as ourselves.”

The forward movement of Freyja’s work cannot be separated from a conscious use of technology. Some of her projects focus on digital assists that can be made in the real world.

MEDITATION – HELMET

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

The artist is currently researching for the “MindMirror” project, created in collaboration with neuroscientist Judson Brewer.

A system of EEG Sensors and bio-feedback is created to help people understand what is happening in their brains as they meditate.

The project took three years to develop and the artist has been testing her meditation routine.

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

This device “helps you make this leap in understanding, turning the ephemeral and often indescribable, into a clear and comprehensible experience.”

The neuroscience research behind meditation helps prove the benefits of this practice.

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

Technology is also used for its communicative power: social media become Freyja’s medium in many projects.

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

TIDAL WAVE

In TIDAL WAVE, she creates a fictional event, with a revolutionary potential and on a global scale.

“Tidal Wave” is a “protest pop project” conceived during the lockdown. At a time when any collective act has been prohibited, it wants to virtually celebrate unity; It’s an invitation to join the wave of change.

“I was frustrated at not being comfortable with, and so being unable to join actions or marches for many causes this last year. Rather than waiting for the future, I wanted to see what could be achieved now, even with our limited resources and freedom of movement. (…) I am a passionate advocate for nurturing rational optimism for our future, of strengthening our position with In nature, rather than outside or above it, using technology and tools like social media and pop.”

The project is a collaboration of a team of UK based international artists.

The track was released by Extinction Rebellion International on the 2nd of April and is accompanied by a music video with footage from the XR archives, featuring films of protests from around the world, as well as footage from speakers and indigenous leaders at marches and demonstrations.

The track aims to blend the joy, colour and self-expression of pop and drag with a message of hope and urgency.

It is a reminder of the power of togetherness and the importance of collective actions.

“LOVE forever. In the face of destruction and greed, we will never stop loving our planet, our community and ourselves.

RAGE can be beautiful. We are justly furious at the destruction of our home. Let’s use this energy to create a new future.”

Tidal Wave invites everyone to take action in every part of the world to protect our planet.

Alongside the conception and art direction of the project, Freyja Sewell participated in the wave of change by designing the custom costumes made out of reclaimed materials.

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

Crystals costume is designed to embody the rage and power of water and is made from 100% merino wool felt offcuts from international felt brand Fitz Felt

Ph. credits Freyja Sewell

The Love costume is inspired by the sacred Buddhist lily and it is made out of hand-dyed wool felt salvaged from a window display.

Working on these outfits, the designer explores felt construction techniques that expand and contract with the dancers’ movements.

Freyja’s work is always monochromatic, the selection of her colour is made very carefully and it’s not always the most obvious one

To create the sets, featured in the music video and accompanying imagery, Freyja inserts biophilic elements of flowers and stones. It was important for her to include real pieces of nature.

Freyja Sewell is tireless and it is really difficult to keep up to date with the developments of her work. I suggest you keep an eye on her Instagram profile: @freyjasewell where she often discusses ongoing projects with her followers and sometimes they can be an active part of her choices. Authorship is brought into play and co-creation takes over, once again everything flows.

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