Sabina Sallis

The Presence of Boundless Potentiality in the Thought World and the Society of Nature

9 - 10 March

‘The Presence of Boundless Potentiality in The Thought World and the Society of Nature’ is a presentation of works and research by Sabina Sallis and guest artists Aleksandra Borys and Naomi Bailey-Cooper that grew out of a residency that the three artists participated in last year at Labverde in the Amazon Jungle, Brazil.

Sabina Sallis

Launch event // Friday 9 March 6 – 8pm

Exhibition open // Friday 9 March 12 – 8pm & Saturday 10 March 12 – 6pm

Sabina presents an evolving and growing body of multi media works and research. The works are singular meditations upon the Amazonian landscape, its thoughts and its ‘living logic’. ‘Thinking with and like forests should be part of an ethical practice for the Anthropocene’ E. Kohn. Drawing from diverse ideas such as Eduardo Kohn’s notion of semiotic beings and sylvan thinking, Descola’s framework of the ‘four ontologies’- animism, totemism, naturalism and analogism, Sabina’s project explores how it is possible to relate and profoundly interact with complex ecosystems, and how mindful, humane and sustainable politics can grow out from appreciative and sensitive engagement with natureculture.

Naomi presents ‘Active Specimens’, a series of textile samples to be interacted with. Inspired by the way in which scientists record life in the forest that often includes the use of a euthanized specimen, the aim was to explore the recording of animal species further as a designer by using a more poetic approach. Through textiles, which offer the qualities of movement and tactility lost in current physical samples, Naomi subsequently recorded the activity of three different insect species found in the rainforest. For example, a leaf hopper nymph which jumps away when touched, represented through the application of magnets sewn into each embellishment which jump to and away from each other when handled.

Aleksandra’s work deals with the idea of welcoming and accepting the unknown and learning from the environment through the physicality of the human body. The physical experience of the senses uniting with the senses of the Amazon. The body not belonging to oneself, it becoming a part of the environment, an elongation of the forest. This physical experience is a bottomless source of learning.

For this special presentation at ONCA, Sabina, Aleksandra and Naomi’s works will respond site-specifically in the spirit of unfolding and intuitive guidance. This spontaneous collaboration will celebrate the Amazon, its changeable aliveness, unique world value and it’s importance in resonating with the deeper values and dimensions of our life.

The Labverde residency was very much about the formation of a temporary community in the jungle. The artist’s hope that this spirit of inclusion and interdependency will reveal itself in the exhibition at ONCA.


Sabina Sallis


Sabina Sallis has a multifaceted approach to arts provision – as a researching, collaborating and exhibiting artist and as a curator. Sabina graduated in 2005 from University of Arts, Poznan, with a MA and currently she is undertaking a practice-led Phd at The School of Fine Arts, Newcastle University. Sabina uses drawing, video, performance, sculpture and speculative narrative in a multimedia transdisciplinary approach that interweaves fact and fiction. Sabina’s practise investigates a complex entanglement between the human mind, knowledge, human and non-human environment, and speculates about an evolving aesthetics of embedded sensitivity towards life. Sabina lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Naomi Bailey-Cooper is a fashion textiles designer and researcher from the UK. Her work explores the potential of integrating ethical non-animal materials and processes with aesthetic appeal at the core of her work. Her past projects focused on embellishment grown onto clothing and 3D fabric manipulation concepts. She is currently studying for a practice-based PhD at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, designing embellishment that could offer an alternative to the decorative notion of exotic animal materials.

Aleksandra Borys works in the fields of choreography, video, installation, astronomy, cosmology and ecology. Her work looks at the human body, environment, the earth, the universe, quantum physics and asks what is the choreography and dance that happens between them. What can the body learn from the land and night sky, how the relationship of human to universe influences the way the earth is treated, and what are the consequences of this. Fascinated by space travel, her work admires the beauty of planet Earth. Interested in looking at Earth from a distance, and how this perspective changes the way life on our planet is approached. The work wishes to challenge the ways human physical existence is viewed. She received a Master of Art and Science from Central Saint Martins, University of The Arts in London, and a BA in Contemporary Dance from CODARTS, University of the Arts in Rotterdam.