Sana Burney

MA Fine Art Interim Show

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NB. Views and opinions of students in the degree show are their own and do not represent the views of the University.


The work ‘Perception of time’ refers to a feeling of estrangement during quarantine and self-isolation that was imposed to combat Covid 19. I investigated this idea by creating small sets and presenting them as a diptych. We all have different experiences of self-isolation. This work is based on my personal experience when I travelled to the UK for my masters and went through self-isolation for 2 weeks. The interruption of normal routine affected various dimensions of psychological time that is I lost my sense of time. Awareness of different times of the day and days of the week were lost. 

The tree – Ilex aquifolium – commonly known as Holly tree, outside my window, was the only captivating sight during self-isolation. The Holly tree has a symbolic significance in western Christian culture. It usually symbolizes Christmas time. The red berries signify the drops of blood shed for salvation, the shape of the leaves resemble flames that suggest God’s burning love for His people, and the sharpness of the leaves  indicate Christ’s thorn, worn by Jesus. In a broader context the Holly tree symbolises crucifixion and salvation.

The tree had many clusters of small red berries with very few leaves. Each day I noticed the berries get less in number and this gave me a sense of time as an hourglass. So the Holly tree became a time measuring device for me.