Slide-show of lighting variations including a mix of spotlighting and LEDs built into the picture frame


Eye of the Storm
A contemporary illuminated manuscript by Denis Brown.

Inspired by Hurricane Patricia which landed on Mexico's coast recently, this is the first work where I've built lighting into the handmade picture frame. Remote controlled and dimmable LED lights can make some of the layers of glass engraved writing appear to glow. Depending on the mix of internal and room lighting, the atmosphere can change dramatically. Additionally, lettering on the top sheet of glass is easier to read when the internal LED lights predominate.

The slide-show above is to quickly show some variations. I hasten to add that in normal viewing, sudden light changes would be far too much, for my own appreciation at least.

The text in this work is a ninth century poem written by an Irish monk in the margin of his manuscript. During a wild storm at sea he ironically felt safe as he knew Viking invaders could not sail and invade in such weather. The spiral form of the hurricane is reminiscent of Celtic spirals in manuscripts made at the very time of Viking invasions, though the Celtic illuminations convey a sense of inner peace despite being drawn in a time of threat. (The Book of Kells is thought to have possibly been taken unfinished by its makers as they fled from the island of Iona after repeated Viking attacks and killings, returning to the "mothership" monastery at Kells in County Meath here in Ireland). Spirals in nature are often a result of turmoil, but at the centre there is stillness. The eye of a storm is curiously calm in spite of chaos all around. Perhaps the Celtic monks found their own still centre in their dedicated work?

I repeated the short poem perhaps a hundred times, overlapping itself in layers of glass to build a 3D image of a cyclone, the repetitions becoming a personal mantra for the safety of people under threat. For my Mexican friends upon my first hearing of the impending hurricane, for the historic Celtic artists and for myself remembering being bullied as a teenager when I was just discovering the magic of Celtic art.

A slide-show of other of my glass pieces can be seen here.

Collectors or anyone interested in this or other of my art pieces, please contact me for more information.

Eye of the Storm, 2015. 26" x 26" x 2.5" framed dimensions.
4 sheets of glass above a background image composed digitally from scans from the actual glass sheets and archivally printed onto paper which was thickly painted with gesso prior to printing. Framed with oak veneer over pine-wood and with a slip of distressed aluminum leaf gilding over painted pine-wood The internal LED lighting is protected from the glass sheets by slips of clear acrylic lining the internal frame and the glass sheets are spaced apart by slips of balsa wood concealed beneath the lip of the frame. The internal lighting is controllable and dimmable via a small wireless remote. Price on application.



©2017 Denis Brown  |