S i n a   H e n s e l

You are missing most of what is happening around you. You are missing what is happening in the distance and right in front of you. The hum of the fluorescent lights; the ambient noise in the room; the feeling of the chair against your legs or back; your tongue touching the roof of your mouth; the tension you are holding in your shoulders or jaw; the constant hum of traffic or a distant lawnmower; the blurred view of your own shoulders and torso in your peripheral vision; a chirp of a bug or whine of a kitchen appliance. Everything begins with inattention.„
-excerpt from the book „On looking“ by Alexandra Horowitz
, a Do-it-yourself walkers guide to the art of observation, structured around a series of eleven walks the author takes.

Sina Hensel also tries to understand the phenomena in her surrounding and to take a closer look at things, which we take for granted. While taking a lot of walks she asks herself: Why do we see what we see? And how reliable is our perception of the exteriour world? As we know there is no inherent meaning in sensory information since the same image on your eye could be procuded by two different objects. The brain didn‘t evolve to see the world as it is. Instead the brain evolved to see the world the way it was useful to see the world in the past. It is finding patterns, finding relationships in information, and associating those relationships with a behavourial meaning.

But what is then the starting point of representing something?
How do you represent something which you haven‘t yet seen?

Due to this sceptical mindset, she approaches her surrounding by capturing certain atmospheres, subtle, sophisticated moods, and colours which are evoked by different places, seasons and also the different times of a day. The viewer is invited to take in the impressions provided by her research, to concentrate on this most shy form of tangible sensation and let them alter their way of perceiving the surrounding world. The existence and also the meaning of her artworks are always strongly connected to the physical surrounding in/for which they are created. A place becomes a source of research and experimentation, expanding its physical and conceptual limits, in order to question and rethink it. Everything can be seen as an influence then: the colors dominating the surrounding, the soundscapes and light situation, which she finds herself in and of course the people she shares her time with. For her the observation of places also serves as a process of positioning, of orientation. So she understands her work more like a documentation of a state/condition- the nature of her artwork is always impermanent as well as interdependent. The final works exist somewhere between image, document and thing.