The work Safe Space Within, was made as part of an ongoing research into the overlapping theme of Safe Space: “A space or state in which one can feel safe to be themselves and to heal themselves.”. The installation aimed to give a first impression of Safe Space and focused on the individual, as a first step in a series of works. Safe Space Within would appear in different public spaces through Rotterdam, the Hague and Scheveningen, for a new audience each time. Through the work, the audience was asked the following questions: “What requirements does a space, both metaphorical and physical, need to meet, in order for you to reach the concept of Safe Space?” and “How can you comfort yourself, when uncomfortable?”.
If interested, the audience or passerbyers of the work were handed a flyer and were invited to take place on the stool behind the desk. This desk was equiped with a stained-glass screen, in a blue to pink gradient, to provide a sense of privacy, whilst still being engaged with your surroundings. The participants were asked if they felt attracted to a corner of the color gradient. To then angle themselves, on the stool, in such a way that they faced that color. They could also find a book on the table: in it they could find ‘manuals’ of participants before them. Each of these ‘manuals’ describes findings they had whilst thinking about the requirements of a space that need to be met, in order for them to reach the concept of Safe Space, and how they comfort themselves, when uncomfortable. The end of the book contained empty pages, these could be filled by the participants to add their own ‘manual’ to the book. The participants would also be provided with various materials, from the desk drawers, they might need for their manuals.
The work went alongside an audio, existing of a voice, that guides you through mindfulness exercises that can ground you in the here and now. The audience was told they were invited to follow along, this is your time, your Safe Space.
Wood, Glass, Paper, Audio. 2020, Scheveningen, The Hague, Rotterdam.