Ausklingen (Fade Away)
We are all going to transform in the same way at the end of life. We are deeply invested emotionally and often financially in the memorialization of our dead and toil to make the place and circumstance of memorialization beautiful, dignified and meaningful for ourselves and the memory of our loved ones. Less effort is spent on the place of dying. What kind of sensory environment might be compelling as a place to die? I am making a series of passing places: sound, film, performance, and installation works based on the physical, social, and metaphysical events of death. Ausklingen is the first public installation in this body of work.
The installation transforms the Reading Room at the Veste Coburg, in Coburg, Germany, into an intimate space of glass, sound and emotions. The room becomes a giant musical instrument. Visitors are invited to sit, to think, to rest and gently to play the thousands of glass chimes that transform this contemplative space. This installation hung in the Veste Coburg from September 2018-March 2019.
I spent four years making thousands of icicles for this installation. They are all flameworked borosilicate glass and they are all hollow. The length, width, and volume of air inside determines the pitch of each icicle. I sell similar ones in my shop.
Video: the artist. Photo: Kunst Sammlungen der Veste Coburg
Homing is a 6 x 5.5 x 6 metre pair of flameworked glass dove wings. This site-specific installation was made for the North Transcept of Chichester Cathedral in England and displayed for six months in 2011-2012.
Homing is the largest artwork I have made to date. I made some of the feathers during an artist residency where I worked in the North Transcept of the Cathedral with the fire coming out of my torch and a kiln, graciously donated by Paragon Kilns and sent all the way from Texas! During this residency I lived at West Dean College where I had a studio.
The hundreds of feathers are flameworked borosilicate glass, ranging from 35 to 105cm or 14" - 41.5" and were all made by myself over two years.
I ran a crowdfundning campaign called Wings for Chichester for this project. The crowdfunding platform Indiegogo awarded it the number one art campaign of 2011, and crowdfunding is a subject I have lectured on internationally. Many thanks to all the funders.
Photos: Duncan McNeill