Bill Viola's work fascinates me. I'm not really into video art, but his work just seems to resonate with me. It has spiritual connotations - he uses a lot of water and I'm a Baptist!
I'll never forget seeing The Messenger at Fabrica in Brighton a few years ago. After its debut in Durham Cathedral, The Messenger had toured around the country for years (and so had I) but we'd never been in the same place at the same time. Then there it was, in a gallery two minutes away from my office.
Fabrica is a converted chapel, and the video screen (which was about 20ft high) was hung behind the altar. The room was pitch black but for the light from the screen, and filled with the booming breathing of the man on the screen, descending into and rising from deep water.
I used to go every day and watch for 10 or 15 minutes, watching him descend, getting smaller and more blurry, then slowly ascend, getting larger and sharper until he broke the surface of the water with a desperate, roaring gasp for air which ricocheted round the room.
I was baptised when I was 21 - by total immersion - and watching The Messenger was very moving - as I thought about how it felt to have the water close over my face - as I 'died' to my old life - and the silence as the water went in my ears, then feeling my pastor's arm round my back, lifting me towards the surface - being 'born' to my new life - and the first gulp of air.
And the noise - water sloshing about, people singing - and trying to get water and sopping wet hair out of my eyes. And laughing out of joy, and from seeing my atheist schoolfriends in the front row crying, and from the look on my parents' faces - Dad scooping me up in a big hug as he helped me out of the pool, Mum wielding a towel - trying in vain to stop me dripping on the chapel carpet...