© 2018 by Irene Barberis. Site created by Heidi Vanzet

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Science is spectral analysis [while] Art is light, wrote Karl Kraus.

 

This project defines the role of “Light” in a modern exploration of the classical iconography of the “Last Days” in the form of the Apocalyptic concept. As such, it represents enquiry within a transdisciplinary regime spanning: the artistic design, the science and perception of illumination and colour, medieval culture and imagery and digital process archiving. Recollecting Paul Cezanne’s commentary that “Art is first of all optical. That’s what the material of our art is: in what our eyes think”, this project explores and defines the role of light in such visual and symbolic representations and sets this within a modern perceptional context.

Over the millennia, many representations of the Apocalypse are found in a multitude of visual forms. This project is based upon the remarkable “Angers Tapestry” spanning 140 meters in length by 6 meters in height. Not only is this a masterpiece in the art of weaving, it is one of the best examples of the transposition of the miniature into the monumental. Composed of a series of six tapestries, its 84 sequential scenes have from its creation, caused fascination and astonishment.

Here, we design and weave in various forms of contemporary and novel illumination interpretations of this St. John Apocalypse on a scale that will approach the imagery and immersion of its 14th Century counterpart. The methodology requires contemporary imagery and design across a number of very different illuminating materials, including conventional dyed thread, fine electroluminescent fiber, fluorescent dyed fiber - responsive to UV enhanced light, and a novel phosphorescent fiber - able to emit in darkness up to 8 hours. Each of these will require adaption and development of appropriate weaving techniques. Ambient lighting will need to be digitally controlled to provide the contrast appropriate to the medium and visual context of the imagery.