Oculus Mundi

May, 2013 Multi video installation

Group exhibition Returning to the Philosophers Table at the Literary and Philosophical society of Newcastle upon Tyne

Oculus Mundi recalls the seafaring expeditions of discovery made by early explorers of the 17th and 18th centuries. These pioneers of science provided the objects and specimens that were studied and discussed at the philosophers table at the L&P and were the origins of the collections of the natural history, ethnography and antiquities museums in Newcastle. In amongst the large, ancient books on geography, history and travel, a small video of the reanimated image of the decommissioned St. Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay, sends out a continuous rotating beam of light, illuminating the large water filled flask that contains it.

The light calls silently to the other illuminated spheres within the darkened room; five small glass flasks, each holding a tiny projection of an animated ship. One ship is tossed endlessly in a storm, another looms out of a fog bank and yet another futilely attempts to row itself out of a becalmed sea. Each miniature scenario has its own sound-scape, drawing the viewer in and completing the mesmerising illusion.