Hand blown glass, tensile netting, LEDs, 2017
5.6m x 6m x 7m

WHAT MATTERS consists of two immersive installations at St Oswold’s Church and Churchyard, Part of Lumiere Durham 2017, a four-day international light festival commissioned by Artichoke. 

Inside the church, thousands of handblown glass fragments were suspended from the roof. Light painted around each fragment, turning on its axis, projected colourful spectral optics, filling the church with ever changing light paintings. Arranged according to stages of cosmic evolution from the very early stages of the universe just after the Big Bang and before the formation of denser particles which preceeded the ‘scattering of light’, the glass is coloured according to a spectrum of colours embedded in spherical sections, which is derived from the image of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Developed with assistance from the Institute of Computational Cosmology.

Moving out into the churchyard these fragments appear to have pulled together to form complex matter, depicted by glass ‘bubbles’, which were arranged in clusters held in place by a ‘web’ - a tensile surface of sculpted lightweight netting, which held the glass in place. The web appears as a trace of an invisible surface which suspends the glass and light in space, creating cloud-like swirling auras that are reminiscent of cosmic structures.

The works look at the meaning of computational simulation, projecting light through the glass in order to introduce the aspect of consciousness into the model and inviting the question: “What Matters?”.