Cacophony Of Lost Footsteps - ©2014

          Cacophony of Lost Footsteps was a site-specific installation comprising an enclosed environment: 3 x 3 x 3 metres. It was installed at Birmingham School of Art, Margaret Street, Birmingham, UK. in June 2014.

         Cacophony of Lost Footsteps consisted, firstly, of a body of archetypal and mystic text, presented as an intimate document upon a lectern, situated on the periphery of the main installation space. Through an interstice, clothed in white fabric, the interior landscape comprised different elements – primarily pattern, light and sound. However, the central object and key focal point within the installation space was a converted wardrobe which contained a plinth, supporting two glass carboys. Whilst the upper carboy remained inanimate, the lower of the dyadic was filled with a liquid mixture – an undisclosed concoction. A pump circulated the fluid around the carboy. The effect of spotlighting the central object rendered the lower carboy scintillant within the darkness of the surrounding space. The effective use of chiaroscuro furthered the visual and atmospheric impact of the work. Light and shadow were very important elements within the space, as I aimed to evoke a sense of terra incognita. The installation area had been entirely enclosed by walls and a roof which were further covered with a skin of patterned fabric. The repetition of the pattern emphasised the contrasting qualities of the ordinary and domestic juxtaposed with the transcendental. I wanted the space to possess enigmatic shrine-like associations with reference to the alleged manifestation of metaphysical and numinous energies – not related to any particular religious practice. I began, ruminating upon something Albert Einstein once said: ‘That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.’ The central object – a previously mundane piece of domestic furniture – was transformed into an atmospheric visual phenomenon. Its dimensions could imply an anthropomorphic interpretation particularly with reference to the head (upper carboy) and even the heart/soul (lower carboy). The form of the central object also resembles a hermetic emblem, which began as a fascinating unconscious coincidence and grew into a careful conscious consideration. I became increasingly fascinated by alchemical practice, text and symbolism during the making process, which further informed my output in regards to the visual language and enigmatic aesthetic qualities of the work. I also drew upon romantic, fantasy literature, of the Victorian era, which aided my consideration of the space’s fantasy narrative. I often attempt to create more obscure, cryptic work which communicates on a morphogenetic level and encourages the viewer to visually absorb and ruminate.

Christian David Barry. © Copyright - All Rights Reserved