Dr Sarah Jane Pell, Holds Her Own on LR!
Move over Ariel, there’s another mermaid in town and she’s a badass. I just heard independent artist, commercial diver, researcher and all around aquatic superwoman, Dr Sarah Jane Pell on her LR episode. Wow! Talk about a female role model… Also a 2010 TED fellow, Dr Pell’s not only a beautifully intelligent woman with the voice of an angel but she can weld steel underwater and probably convince you that your future address might very well boast an underwater postcode. In fact, Sarah has so much going on that it’s difficult to makes heads or fins of what she is and how to classify her – but I kinda like that! It’s easy to forget that science does quite often play a role in art and philosophy and Pell’s work could be reminiscent of work from Leonardo Davinci or Issac Newton. An oceanic philosopher (if you will), she is infinitely curious about our world’s oceans and how humans as a specifically interact with and within them. Sounds simple enough, right? And whilst NASA is probing Mars and calculating ways on how to inhabit her, Sarah is mostly focused on habitation down under – she is Australian after all.
Brian and Sarah also chat briefly about Atlantica Colony a project she is involved with that encompasses a 90 day undersea habitat mission lead by Aquanaut Dennis Chamberland. From the looks of it, we’re talking about the future creation of a real life The Abyss; sans the underwater aliens… but then again, maybe not.
Her art performances are something quite different too. Take 2003’s Second Nature: Second Skin for example. Inspired by DaVinci’s glider, Pell creates a version for herself as she explores winged instruments of the ocean. Or for instance her 2006 performance of HYDROPHILIA at the 2006 Tract – Live Art Festival in Cornwall. “Hydrophilia”?! Remember how I mentioned The Abyss? From the performance review it sounds a whole lot like the part in the movie where Ed Harris’ character Bud, almost suffocates himself with a liquid breathing apparatus that would allow him to dive unconventionally deep into the ocean – parts unknown. Sarah’s performance appeared to be just as daunting and uneasy to watch.
It goes without saying that this woman is inspiring to new heights in what is often misconstrued as a man’s (only) world. I believe she even briefly touches upon that in the episode. I don’t know where Dr Sarah Jane Pell is going next, but I’m certainly glad she’s moving.
It’s just another great example of what/who you can find listening to London Real. In the end, it’s about the journey!