LB x a-n Artist Bursaries: Daksha Patel

Posted on 4 June 2021 by Guest Blogger

LB x a-n Artist Bursaries

As part of a shared commitment to supporting artists across the UK, Liverpool Biennial 2021, a-n The Artists Information Company and Open Culture have joined forces to provide five support and research bursaries of £1500 each for artists over March – June 2021, within the 11th edition of Liverpool Biennial. 

The selected artists are Youngsook Choi & Taey Iohe, Grace Collins & William Lang, Sophy King, Daksha Patel, and Rain Wu.

In Focus: Daksha Patel

For her research period, Daksha Patel is based at Invisible Flock’s studio in Yorkshire Sculpture Park where she is being mentored in the use of LIDAR scanner technology. She will experiment with LIDAR in the field by scanning water in the nearby lake and explore projecting the scans on the surface of the water.

Patel’s practice engages with scientific processes of visualisation, measurement and mapping. Recent residencies include Anatomy, King’s College (current), Life Science, Dundee University (2018), and Mathematics, Bristol University (2019). Recent solo exhibitions and events include Dundee Contemporary Arts (2019), Paper2 Gallery, Manchester (2019), Waterman Arts, London (2018), Horniman Musuem, London (2017), and LifeSpace, Dundee (2017). Patel currently lives in Manchester and works in Salford.

Discover more about Patel's LB x a-n bursary research as she updates us through her personal account below. 

During May, I made my first site visit to Invisible Flock’s interactive arts studio at Yorkshire Sculpture Park to start my research process for the LB x a-n artist bursary I was granted in May. Firstly, a HUGE thank you to the IF team: Vick, Ben, Cath and Klavs for making me feel so welcome – and for the lovely shared lunches we’ve been having!

During my time at IF, I will be experimenting with LIDAR scanners (light detection and ranging). A LIDAR emits laser beams of light to create a 3D map of different environments, be that forests, built, rock formations and so on, by measuring the speed and angle of reflected light as it returns to the receiver. It is used in a wide variety of applications including geology, surveying, archaeology, forestry, gaming and autonomous cars. I will be using a LIDAR to scan water at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Invisible Flock Studio. Image courtesy: Daksha Patel

The Invisible Flock studio is an amazing space which has sustainability at its heart. It is full of all kinds of technical equipment such as a CNC machine, laser cutter, hydrophonic microphones, high resolution projectors, software from gaming industries – all of which Klavs the technical manager has given me a tour of. During my time here I have been struck by the fluidity with which the IF team discuss options of technical equipment I could use. Their playfulness, confidence and knowledge of technologies has been inspiring!

Pictured below is the Ouster scanner which can be used for moving image scans.

Ouster LIDAR scanner. Image courtesy: Daksha Patel

Below captures the Faro scanner being set up by Vick Pratt, Invisible Flock’s creative director. Faro is a stationary scanner that offers higher resolution images.

Faro LIDAR. Image courtesy: Daksha Patel

In my first few days, Klavs and I have been walking around YSP with both scanners (quite a lot of kit to carry) and making test scans. There were the usual technical hitches at first but some great imagery was captured, which I will share in my next post. The LIDARs we are using are not designed to scan water as such, and my test scans will involve pushing it to its limits and allowing some glitches and unexpected outcomes to be part of the process. I would like to test projecting the scans I make onto the lake at night in YSP. My aim is to explore how a fixed measuring system responds to a constantly moving, changing and living system such as a body of water. Working with technology at Invisible Flock allows me the space to experiment without the strict protocols surrounding using equipment that I encounter in scientific institutions. It’s an environment that supports creative risk taking – this is what makes this residency so valuable to me.

Klavs and Daksha with scanners by the lake. Image courtesy: Daksha Patel

Learn more about Daksha Patel's practice:

Find out about the six additional artists in the Bursary Programme via our Liverpool Biennial 2021 portal here.