Sanctuary Spaces to Refresh the Mind

“You wake up. You’ve been brain washed. I mean – your brain has been washed. Every night while you're fast asleep, your cerebral spinal fluid flows through the crevices of your brain, flushing out toxic metabolic waste. This is why a good night’s sleep actually clears the mind. A clear mind is a precious thing."

- Benny Zenga (from Nobodies! Heroes!)

Benny Zenga is a filmmaker who builds and embodies the movies he makes. Since building his first High Up Hut out of sticks, the artist’s self-described structures of solitude have grown to a human scale. Often found atop abandoned poles, Zenga’s High Up Huts are the embodiment of his desire to savour a clear mind.

Having become aware of how quickly he was reaching for his phone in the morning, Zenga began a ritual of getting out of bed and going out for a walk. During these morning walks, he found himself looking up at tree branches and finding beauty in their silhouettes against the sky.

After a windstorm one night, he began collecting fallen sticks and from theses constructed his first High Up Hut. Today, as a reminder of the precious moment of clarity we all share each morning upon waking, Zenga keeps his phone in a High Up Hut just outside his bedroom. He wakes up, savours his freshly washed brain, and follows his natural mind wanderings.

High Up Hut #3, installed on Two Rivers Gallery’s Sculpture Court, is a hybrid design inspired by High Up Hut #1 (Belcarra) and High Up Hut #2 (Vancouver). Unlike its predecessors, this hut is not located on a vacant pole, but rather on the high-up location of the Sculpture Court.

From the ground, one can catch glimpses of the hut: a curious structure that cannot help but invite imaginings and musings on its purpose and history. However, at its core, this work is about the importance of solitude and taking time away from the digital screens that saturate many of our day-to-day lives.

-Two Rivers Gallery


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