Saturday, 14 February 2015

Musical Interlude: "Eggshells"

I have to admit, it's been a while since I listened to an Aqualung track and instantly fell in love with it. In fact, the track was probably Strange and Beautiful (I Put A Spell On You), from Aqualungs' d├ębut album, and it was released a decade ago*.

Eggshells, from Aqualung's fifth studio album, 10 Futures, features Lianne Le Havas, whom I love as I solo artist, but, it's the video, by Jonathan Irwin and Eva Delimata, which makes it.

Production designer, Delimata, created most of the two hundred and fifty paper buildings herself, over the course of a couple of weeks. Cutting out approximately twenty thousand windows, which allowed the colourful light of LEDs, inserted into the buildings and throughout its base, to illuminate the city. Pre-programmed using a Raspberry Pi computer, the director, Irwin, timed and synchronised the light patterns and colours to spread across the cityscape to the beat of the music. Ultimately destroying the entire paper city, as it bursts into flames. as the set is showered in sparks and it falls into slow motion.
This is the part I really like. Tiny sparks splashing on the roofs of the buildings, bouncing and skittering off, as though the paper is impervious to them, until, from they hit the ground and the flames rise and consume each of the buildings.

But then again. I like burning things. Not in a scary pyromaniac way, more in a, I spent five years burning stuff and got a degree at the end way.

What Aqualung, Irwin and Delimata's video really reminds me of, is artist Nathan Colley's, The Lamp of Sacrifice, 286 Places of Worship, Edinburgh 2004. 
The 2004 Edinburgh edition of Colley's work features a handmade cardboard, scale model of each of the 268 Places of Worship, listed in the 2004 Edinburgh Yellow Pages. The models include churches, cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, Salvation Army halls and temples throughout Lothian, Fife and the Borders.

Placed into the exhibition hall in without relation to their geographic location throughout the region or their religious affiliation. Colley was inspired "by an essay by the nineteenth-century artist and writer John Ruskin called ‘The Seven Lamps of Architecture’. Ruskin stated that ‘It is not the church we want, but the sacrifice; not the emotion of admiration, but the act of adoration: not the gift but the giving’." (National Galleries of Scotland, 2004)

I went to see this exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, and I think it may be the reason I like making paper houses. There was something really wonderful about a room filled with cardboard buildings and how different each of the religious buildings in one area actually are, even at their simplest.

Link | 250 Model Buildings are Burned in Aqualung Eggshells Video via Deezen
Link | The Lamp of Sacrifice, 286 Places of Worship, Edinburgh 2004 by Nathan Colley  via National Galleries of Scotland

*For the love of Bagpuss, when did 2005 become a decade ago! That was last week, surely?
Listening: Eggshells - Aqualung feat. Lianne Le Havas

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