Independence and Love

Dundee City Council Winter Light Night

An interactive light sculpture depicting the tectonic connection between Scotland and England. 

In 2009, the Dundee City Council commissioned Holly to produce a new light-based artwork to be exhibited at an outdoor one- night winter festival.

The event coincided with the publishing of a white paper for the proposed Referendum Bill for an independent Scotland, which stirred complicated emotions for the many English who saw Scotland as their home.

With this future vote in mind, the new artwork created a time-based narrative that entwined contemporary politics with geological phenomena and personal futures.

About 425 million years ago, the Iapetus Ocean began to close. The ocean floor was pulled down below two tectonic plates, the Eastern Avalonia and Laurentia, drawing the two plates towards each other until they joined and together formed the Iapetus Suture.

The Iapetus Suture now lies buried beneath younger sediments just south of the Scottish and English border. But despite only being visible to the eye at limited areas, it continues to mark the moment that these two landmasses joined.

A geological love story pulled by a liquid core. One meter per year. Eternally bound.

Juxtaposing light as a medium with a protrayal of geological deep time, Holly created an animation of shadows that depicted the past tectonic creation of the Iapetus Suture.

An independent ship, symbolically alluding to Dundee and its changing roles in history, navigates the evolving seascape and landmasses. The ship's rate of movement hints towards the parallel speeds of existence that occur in the passing of time on Earth.

The animation was presented as a projection onto ten organza screens of
different sizes which were hung sporadically throughout a steel structure. The organza screens simultaneously caught the animation whilst also allowing it to pass through to the next screen creating an unique sculptural light experience which visitors could walk in amongst.

Visitors moved amongst organza screens - their shadows becoming part of the projected narrative.

The commission was funded by Dundee City Council. Special thanks to Kenneth Andersson.
(C) HOLLY KEASEY 2020 — GO UP︎︎︎