Monday, January 30, 2006

More information about 'Pagoda'

My new work, 'Pagoda', is now installed in the Vitrine on the ramp leading into the Merrion Centre on the corner of Wade Lane with Merrion Street, in Leeds. Click here to see a map

The press release is above but I have been asked to describe the work as it is hard to ascertain excatly what form it takes from the catalogue and press text.

The piece is made up of 66 separate wooden components. All shapes derived from the photo of part of the Merrion Centre that you can see in the entry above. They were then scaled up and cut out of oak veneered MDF. The wood pieces were cut by a CNC machine from PDF's that I gave to an excellent and very helpful company called MultiMount in Kirkstall, Leeds. Each piece was then sanded and varnised and hand painted with enamel paint.

The installation is designed to resemble the construction of a Buddhist pagoda, it is not supposed to replicate any one in particular, but suggest the form and construction in these buildings, whilst also taking into account the reflections in the window itself. If you look at the window straight on, the reflection of the shopping centre roof continues the roof line of the pagoda.

The surrounding environment reflects into the window and the empty spaces around the installation, allowing the city to become part of the work as the black background emphasises the reflections.

The sound is generated from a CD player and it is played through a Soundbug which is a small device that plugs into the CD player's headphone socket (mini jack) and then you sucker it on to the window and it vibrates the glass and turns it into a speaker. The sound is of bells ringing, the bells on the unseen spire of the pagoda (the sound is actually a recording of me ringing a small feng shui pagoda wind chime). It is set at a volume which allows the sound to come and go in waves with the background noise of the city, only really being audible when there is a lull in the activity around the window. This is particularly noticeable when the pedestrian crossing is activated. It is out of sight but the chiming of the bleep sychronises with the bells as it stops the traffic from passing for a few moments.

With very big thanks to Stuart Bannister, Pippa Hale and Kerry Harker and MultiMount for all their help in making this work.


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