The Shaman

Elise Wortley — Connection Roots

Posted on August 29, 2012

Elise Wortley explores ideas of the human mind being instinctively spiritual.

Connection Roots explores ideas of the human mind being instinctively spiritual; asking why a need for belief in non-physical worlds is an essential drive to the human sense of self. It appears that we cannot settle for apparent reality, and therefore the mind has a habit of latching itself onto anything that offers spiritual guidance, be it a natural form, or physical object. These deified objects play an essential role as a conduit between our physical and non-physical realities.
As a response to Marcus Coates’ The Plovers Wing (2008), my collaborative performance and piece The Shaman explores modern day shamanistic behaviours and how physical objects and natural forms such as The Tiki Stick are used to connect with spiritual worlds that are not present or visible here on earth. The Shaman places faith in all objects he finds in an ultimate expression of the need for connection with the spiritual. Francis Upritchard’s notions on the hopeless hippie in Breath (2011) encroach on the work, an indication that the search for the spiritual may be a worthless endeavour, a reflection on the broken and disregarded objects being used in the performance.
Drawing influences from Philip K Dick’s novel VALIS, which explores the need for something greater to reassure us, Remnants of the Connection exhibits the left overs of a modern day shamanistic ceremony. The piece looks at how belief in the non-physical can lead to strange ritualistic behaviour, in this case through the use of common physical objects, capturing a moment when beliefs in the non–physical collide with reality.

Elise Wortley studied a Bachelor of Art at the University of Reading.

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