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Mise En Scene – Robert Morris

Location Piece 1973 Robert Morris             Lead and aluminium on board
Object: 537 × 537 × 38 mm

Location draws attention to the relationship between a work and its immediate surroundings. Four small arrows point towards the floor, the ceiling, and the walls on either side of the work. When it is positioned in the gallery, the meters next to each arrow are adjusted to register the distance in feet to the edge of the room. As well as precisely recording the location of the work, these measurements make viewers aware of their own relation to the space.

This piece is relevant for what I plan to do with light. It has made me think about how I can use light for more of the process rather than it just be the main piece. It isn’t just light I want the viewer to address and experience, it is the space in which the light exists and fills as well.

Morris has done something that I find very interesting, which is make something physical and give form to an action, a feeling. This small lead plate give you the tools to sit, observe and experience something completely different from the way you did before. I hope to use light in a similar way.

Mise En Scene – Edward Ruscha

The Final End 1992 Edward Ruscha born 1937 ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008

I saw Edward Ruscha’s work in the Gallery of Modern Art a few years ago and to be honest I didn’t think much of it at the time other than enjoying the size of the canvas he had chosen to write a single or few words on. Doing a little more research now, I like his work no more than I did before but I find what he says about the way he works and why he has chosen to focus on text very interesting and inspiring.

“no size”

“not bound by reference”

“non verbal way of referencing something that is not really making any noise at all”

“setting the tone for a given subject”

These are just some of the quote I wrote down while listening to a few talks and interviews from Ruscha while speaking about his work.

He mentions that he likes words because they are not bound by any size reference and he can make the decision whether it be small or huge. This is something I like about light, the fact it has no one form.

His work is a way of drawing focus to something that has no sound and he does this by creating text pieces that are often quite loud in my option. This is something I find really beautiful to think about and I can relate it back to what I aim to do, by giving form to something that has none.

Mise En Scene – Richard Wright

  • Site specific/ intervention 
  • Memory & ephemerality
  • Short lived 
  • Works on already existing elements
  • White space

My Thoughts:

I like the idea of when going to see a piece by Richard Wright, you know that you are never going to see it again as they are often temporary, much like the subject matter and materials used.

This to me eradicates hindsight, as you often don’t realise at the time, in everyday situations, when the last time you will see something or someone. so to know that ahead of time is very powerful to me.

If I knew my jewellery was going to get stolen I would have closed the window. If I knew at the time it was going to be the last time i’d see my grandmothers earrings, I would have always kept them in a safe place. – Hindsight –

Wright also works directly onto site specific surfaces, which draws attention to the existing space rather than reinventing. This is something I would like to do as dealing with the subject matter of loss, it feels inappropriate to create something, adding something physical to the space.

Light – Artist Research

These are some of the artists & artworks that have inspired me at this point in the project. I have only taken a snapshot of the body of work that has influenced my choices so far but I feel each have elements I would like to explore in this project.

Robert Irwin – Untitled (From Dusk Till Dawn) 2016

Olafur Eliasson: Verklighetsmaskiner / Reality machines. Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 3.10 2015 – 17.1 2016.

‘James Turrell’ installed at Pace Gallery, 6 Burlington Gardens, London, February 11 – March 27, 2020.
from left: Sagittarius, Medium Elliptical Glass, 2019, #71790; Cassiopeia, Medium Circle Glass, 2019, #71808; Pegasus, Medium Elliptical Glass, 2019, #71789.

Light – Research

I have been looking into ephemeral art works as the light coming through my window in my development was exactly that, it was an experience I couldn’t recreate exactly or pick to show an audience.

I hadn’t heard of this word before it was suggested this is what I was doing during my crit. Now knowing what it is I realised I have always been fascinated by the natural happenings of the world and try to capture them.

Here are some examples going back to 2015.

Light – Research

A run down to some basic colour and light science.

For us to be able to see colour there must be some level of light. which made me instantly think about how if we lived in a lightless world how different the art world would be and then a darker thought of how there would be nothing in this world without light. which Is quite extraordinary.

To detect different colour, the retina of our eyes contains two types of photoreceptors – rods and cones. The cones detect colour. The rods only let us see things in black, white and grey and our cones only work when the light is bright enough. This is why things look grey and we cannot see colours at night when the light is dim.

everything I have done up until now has involved light, either the sun or a lamp. I have also involved things I relate to light such as a candle stick or lightbulb but looking into the physics of light it made me think that if the object is not self generating light, we are only able to see it when something else is generating light.

again the seem very obvious but I can’t help but just think there is something so fascinating in the thought that anything that is not light itself, is the reflection of light.

I am starting to think that my extra-ordinary object is the eye or sight.

Light – Inspiration

Continuing my clear obsession with James Turrell during this project, I delved deeper into his practice and what he had to say about the work he produced. I watched a few hours of talks and interview with him an wrote down a few quotes that really resinated with me and my own current project and practice in general.

“wanted the work to be light not of light”

“using light as a material to perfect the medium of perception”

“stepping into the painting”

“not everybody will sit in a darkened room before they begin to see” 

“experience the materiality of the light and air that fills those spaces”

“without image, without focus, what do you have left”

“we drink light”

“light often obscures and decides a space”

My own thoughts after researching:

It gives the air some substance, making it visible.

he couldn’t see the audience because the lights were shining on him, I like the idea of light obscuring the vision and almost contradicting its purpose. Light does a similar thing on film/camera that it did to him in the talk.

the artwork could just be the experience felt whilst being with/in the light.




James Turrell

When looking into artist who work with light, I came across James Turrell. After doing some research it is clear that we have a similar interest in light and the experience you get when in the presence of light, in particular for me sunlight.

Afrum I (White), (1967)

In the 1960s, Turrell began using a high-intensity projector (cutting-edge technology for the 1960s) to beam light onto the walls and corners of empty rooms. The artist was essentially painting (or sculpting) with light. Inspired by the glow from a reproduction of a Rothko canvas in the context of a slide lecture (a glow he later discovered they did not have when he experienced them in person).

Here, a brilliant white cube seems to float in midair. If we walk from side to side, it appears three-dimensional. Upon closer inspection, we discover that two intersecting beams of light create that illusion. Because of the intensity of the beam and the darkened conditions of the room, light appears as a visual presence, and the reflection of the beams off the walls makes it appear as if the cube itself were the source of light.

Meeting (1980)

Enter what at first seems to be an ordinary room and sit down on one of the wooden benches along its walls. The eye is soon drawn upward toward a large rectangular aperture cut directly into the square ceiling. Here, artificial orange light and natural light mingle, guiding the senses and suggesting the color of the sky. The effects are particularly noticeable close to sunset. Turrell’s Skyspaces, permanent, site-specific installations meant to facilitate visitors’ experiences of the effects of light changing slowly over time are the artist’s best-known works. The objective is to join inside with outside, eliminating the ceiling, and connecting the individual directly with the sky.

Roden Crater Project

I am in particularly interested/curious in the Roden Crater Project.

Rising out of the vast desert outside Flagstaff, Roden Crater is the site of Turrell’s most ambitious project to date. He has reworked this huge depression in the earth, altering its contours to change the visitor’s perception of the horizon and sky, and left a cluster of spaces and walkways inside, with apertures leading into each compartment that filter various degrees of light from the cosmos. Turrell originally discovered the site by plane. The visitor approaches like a pilgrim, walking over two miles in a tightening spiral that allows his or her mindset to adjust to the ancient natural site and its changing appearance, depending on light and weather. Upon arriving at the extinct volcano, one makes one’s way through a long tunnel into the Crater Bowl, a natural concavity 5,500 above sea level. During the day, one appears to see a literal curving of the earth. At night, it is as if the stars are right on top of you. For example, the Alpha Tunnel focuses images onto a large stone in the Sun and Moon Chamber every 18.61 years to mark the Major Lunar Standstill. The experience of the work is intended to attune us to the presence of geologic time and celestial movement. Though grander in scale than anything else the artist has done, the Roden Crater project is entirely consistent with the rest of the artist’s work, and might even be considered a kind of summary of his objective: modifying perception, and ultimately consciousness itself, through the use of light.


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