Squidsoup, an international group of artists whose work combines sounds, physical space and virtual worlds to produce immersive and emotive headspaces where participants take an active role in the experience, have created two installations at the Cathedral as part of the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Celebrations.
Situated in the North Porch, the main installation called Enlightenment (pictured above) is made up of around 6,000 points of light which are suspended from below the porch ceiling. Visitors are able to move into this body of light and as they pass through they become active participants in what the Squidsoup creative lead, Anthony Rowe, calls a ‘Mixed reality interplay between real and virtual’. The lights respond to people's presence, creating abstract forms in physical space and envelopping the viewer in a stimulating, virtual world. It is best viewed after dark.
This artwork is concerned with the idea of the ripple effect of Magna Carta, how its influence has changed and grown over time to encompass much of the globe - we enter the space and feel the magnitude of the legacy of this important document. The installation contrasts yet compliments the gothic space, allowing the visitor to reflect on something new and mysterious, thought provoking and exciting.
In the Morning Chapel you will find The Power of Words, an interactive piece where you, the audience, can transform the chapel using words from the text of Magna Carta, which are projected on its walls. This growing 'tree' of emotive words, with the theme of society and justice, reacts to gestures and movement, the words move, flow and fall, morph and re-form and create new words.
The idea behind this is to allow the visitor to reflect on the consequences of their actions and how their actions in the world may have an effect on it, perhaps not always what was intended... The projection explores the power of the words and concept that the Magna Carta document is not just a historical artefact, it's a contemporary symbol of the power of words, of justice, freedom and accountability.
Jacquiline Creswell, Cathedral Arts Advisor and Curator said: "Art in Cathedrals is about communication and connection. The combination of the physical and intellectual demands of siting contemporary art in a cathedral is challenging. Squidsoup's light installations, are bold, they explore the modes and effects of interactivity, looking to make digital experiences where meaningful and creative interaction can occur".
Both exhibits will be on display to the public until 7 September 2015. For more information about Squidsoup visit their website.