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Synthetic Restoration

Collaboration by Rachel Glass & Debbie Naylor (instagram: @debbie.naylor.photo )

Attention restoration theory, suggests that looking at nature – and even just images of nature – can shift the brain into a different processing mode, making employees feel more relaxed and better able to concentrate.

This work aims to cast light on the now common strategy of implementing natural elements to the workplace environment. [The research is] Spearheaded by large corporations who want to be seen as looking after the mental wellbeing of their employees; a current trend in contemporary society. 

To challenge this, the images [of plants] take the shape of polaroid lifts. Delicate and unique, the ‘lifts’ are presented and pinned similar to a conserved butterfly collection. Combined [we] make reference to the fragile but competent nature of the mind and emphasises the importance of its preservation. The fake plants chosen are commonly found in the workplace and exemplify the weak implementation of restoration theory which falls short of individual needs.

Wide ranging in scope, with more than 200 classified forms, mental health is commonly believed to fall into eight categories [which] affect one in four people in the UK. As well as forcing conversation around the current presentation of mental health, the work aims to illustrate the compromises which shape it. Similar to how companies have dissected our understanding of nature, we have dissected the polaroid. Presenting the “essence" of the object this way, it signifies how we consider the mind as the very core of who we are. Without it we are a body without emotion.

Exhibited in a lightbox with 8 images. Lightbox dimensions are: 1.5m x 1.5m x 0.5m

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