Suspended hand-blown glass, netting and LED's, 2017

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 produced by Artichoke. 

Inside the church, thousands of handblown glass fragments suspended from the roof. Light is directed at each fragment, which can turn on its axis to project colourful spectral optics, filling the church with ever changing light paintings. Developed with assistance from the Institute of Computational Cosmology, the work simulates the cosmological model of the birth of light in the universe. The glass is 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 proceeded 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.

Moving out into the churchyard these fragments appear to have pulled together to form complex matter, depicted by glass ‘bubbles’, which are arranged in clusters held in place by a ‘web’ - a tensile surface of sculpted lightweight netting, which holds 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 work looks 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?”.