The Light Shines in the Darkness Installation
Video of the installation, click to enlarge
Quotes from visitors:
"The whole experience was very calming, especially as it's so dark and quiet, you can turn off a bit and the patterns make everything else outside feel so simple. I think that encourages more self-awareness and perspective."
"Offers a period of quiet and soothing contemplation - the effect of the light is very calming."
"It had a very calming effect that encouraged me to be more present and take notice of my environment."
"It's like a little oasis of calm, completely separate from the busyness of outside."
"A chance to rediscover wonder in the seemingly simple. Relaxing but also stimulating."
"Was very relaxing and gave me a sense of joy and satisfaction."
The installation ‘The Light Shines in the Darkness’ was created during the Coronavirus pandemic and is the culmination of two years playful experimentation with light and how it is affected by different materials. I wanted to create an environment where people could transcend the everyday and feel part of something more eternal.
So why light?
I love its transience, its ability to shift and change; its physical properties which enable different reflections and refractions; I love the fact that all life depends on the sun’s light and that the light we perceive with our eyes has travelled millions of miles and yet we don’t see all there is to see because of the finiteness of our eyes and brains. Light is ephemeral, spiritual and illuminating.
I also love colour. Initially, the work was mainly white light but the inclusion of the dichroic film has enabled the introduction and mixing of colour. The reflections created by the slowly rotating structures are spontaneous and uncontrollable. By encouraging visitors to use their own light source, I am surrendering the work and it becomes a collaboration between artist, materials, light and visitors.
Simplicity and Diversity
The 3D structures have been developed after studying the structure of DNA – the molecule of life, the base pairs of which are incredibly simple and yet their combination results in such glorious diversity. The silver mylar strands and the dichroic strands are based on a stylized DNA spiral and are heavily influenced by the work of Kazue Taguchi, a Japanese-American artist who also works with mylar.
The Miracle of Life
The wire knitted pieces are inspired by the structure of chromosomes and the barred appearance of a DNA sequence chromatograph. Some words from Psalm 139 were also important in the conception of these structures: ‘You knit me together in my mother’s womb’ – the miracle and complexity of life.
My hope is that the installation will encourage both playfulness and wonder: two emotions I have experienced in its creation. Light is a hope-bringer. The title ‘The Light Shines in the Darkness’ has a counterpoint in the Gospel of John which states ‘and the darkness has not overcome it’. Hope. Revelation. Life.