Fire of Light, 2012

 

Artwork for Staff Pedestrian Bridge, University Hospital.


Whether they are arriving or leaving, those who enter the Staff Bridge are in a moment of transition between their personal lives and the world of hospital. I think of Fire of Light as a brief period when the staff steps out of their everyday world and is immersed in the vast unknowable beginnings of life juxtaposed with the beginnings of time and space.

The normally invisible flux of physical reality is suggested in the almost liquid billowing forms of the wall. Impossibly small scales and brief instants as cells divide are woven amongst images of unimaginably vast and eternal forms of nebulae and galaxies. They appear in the same moment, as if in the same reality. Indeed their forms are remarkably similar. A nebula is made up of the elements from which the universe is built.

'Nebulae are often star-forming regions. In these regions the formations of gas, dust, and other materials 'clump' together to form larger masses, which attract further matter, and eventually will become massive enough to form stars. The remaining materials are then believed to form planets, and other planetary system objects.' It becomes, over vast expanses of time, the stars, planets and other bodies in space. The dividing cells are also the early beginnings of form that become a living being but at a minute scale and within a relatively brief span of time. Both these phenomena are invisible to the naked eye and these images remind us of how vast is the reality out there that we do not see or fully understand. These images inspire awe in the majesty and beauty of an invisible world.

Light is a metaphor for the energy of this shifting reality as the transparent skin of the surface on which the images appear brightens and dims, a slowly pulsing energy, never entirely still. Haunting sounds as if from another world helps the shift of our sensibility as we enter the space.

The curve of the wall and the slope of the floor heighten the sense of an expanding and contracting universe. The image printed on translucent material and lit from behind forms a pair with the windows and is reflected in the glass with the colors and lights also bouncing off the ceiling and floor which I propose as having a somewhat reflection surface in each case.

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Fire of Light, 2012 description
© Catherine Widgery