by Denis Brown
Here's a link for those seeking news of my large Airport Commission. It includes a new video at the very bottom of this page. For those new to my glasswork, I suggest starting at the top. You are welcome to browse as you wish, of course!
Covid 19, 2020. 12" × 12" (30 × 30 cm). Five overlapping sheets of glass engraved with circles of writing over a painted and gilded background sheet of paper on which "Covid Nineteen" is written. Following photos show how different lighting affected the stacked sheets before framing. Then there is a video showing the structure and the 3-D aspect.
Above: a detail from the gilded background sheet of paper that lies behind the engraved glass sheets.
The video soundtrack is my recording of Hotel California. It does not include vocals, but the line: "You can check out any time you like—but you can never leave" projects eerily over pandemic lockdowns.
The video below provides an intimate discussion of thoughts in making my glassworks, as well as plenty of visual stimulation.
A 1.5 metre (5 foot) square artwork with four spaced layers of clear acrylic over a copper-gilt and painted paper background. I wrote on both sides of each sheet. Commissioned to reflect the logo of An Post, the Irish National Post, it also reflects the Irish flag colours.
This project is among the largest of my works using my glass processes. At this scale clear acrylic (Plexiglas) is more practical than glass. Installation is pending in Dublin Airport's Terminal 1 Immigration hall. Each of the four panels is two metres (6 feet) tall. The total installation width will be over seven metres (21 feet). Each of the four panels comprises seven sheets of Plexiglas, spaced 5 cm (2inches) apart. I wrote on both sides of six of these. I painted the seventh with translucent oil colours. The work will be viewable from both sides. The video at the bottom of this page includes close panning shots that reveal the three-dimensional nature of the art.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, a decision to relocate the art following security concerns means the art is in a corridor between terminals instead of centrally in the large Immigration Hall for which I designed it. This decision was made without consulting myself or the Design Consultancy involved. Made to be viewed from both sides, now it is set against a grey wall which kills the translucency of the colours and makes them appear dull. I notified the design consultancy of my dissatisfaction and suggested a possible path to improve things.
UPDATE 2: Backlighting was added to improve the installation, but without consulting me. It gives an impression of stained glass, although the writing textures now appear black and flat compared to my studio photos here. My ideal would have been to light one side from the front, which would backlight the other. Against a wall, however, only one side is viewable. It's a real shame.
The image below is a preliminary phone photo of the backlit effect. Scroll down for studio images and a video showing work-in-progress and moving pans revealing the 3D quality.
I took all photos in the studio before framing and installation, which are pending.
Writing on the reverse side of one of 28 sheets of Plexiglas this size for this art installation.
The text from Dubliners by James Joyce is largely textural, but fragments are readable on close inspection.
Textures of writing, on both sides of threes sheets of Plexiglas are spaced up to 15 cm (6 inches) above the painted background.
Another 3 sheets behind the painted layer are viewable from the reverse.
Irish and English words for welcome are readable in the three darker rectangular areas along the centre of the arc above.
This video shows some of the making of the art and includes close panning shots that reveal its three-dimensional nature.