Janula’s recent video work - Mutables is a layered exploration of moving image which maps the soul-search of a half-woman, half-fish creature - a mermaid in reverse with a fish’s head and a human body. Partly inspired by research into mythical water based female creatures from the Odyssey - ‘Between Aeaea and the rocks of Scylla’ as well as ideas around otherness and inter-connectivity.
By merging dualism’s– the digital and analogue, artificial and natural, Mutables floats between several different worlds. We drift from a beach to a semi-urban wilderness, domestic scenes, and hybrid computer/3D scanned object nether-places – following our heroine on her quest to seek her place in this comic cyber-topian drama. The soundtrack further helps us to navigate between scenes like a schizoid music video – ambiance gives way to triumphant synth pop, through to glitch and spacey groove; punctuated in moments by the artists own voice reading from clandestine passages, and a chopped-up disembodied voice which seems to be questioning our safety and/or sanity.
The work doesn’t seek to judge the viewer’s relationship with the natural world or project any ecology-based agendas. There is no guilt or shame, just existence. The character has been designed to be highly relatable – we share in her frustrations. We too, may wish to seek harmony within our environment/s, but find ourselves overwhelmed by the growing complexities of modern living. We also may gesture aggressively while babbling and tapping away on our inanimate machines, seeking meaning through a screen while forgetting our roots to the earth and sea.
In Mutables, Janula’s wobbly heroine could be any one of us – and our desperate attempt at ‘Tree Pose’ to restore balance to the lives we suddenly finds ourselves leading.