Emanating From Above

Wood, carbon fiber composite, steel cable

This sculpture is sited in the Château de La Napoule’s large, gothic-era dining room. At various points in history before the time of recorded music, musicians would sit in a small room on the other side of these three small, arched openings shown at the top of these pictures, hidden from view. The music they played would emanate out of these windows and down into the dining area for the enjoyment of the diner guests below.

I loved this story, and thought about how an already-hidden history like this is becoming even more distant and intangible as technologies like smartphones make each subsequent generation take instantaneous and ubiquitous access to music for granted. I wanted to find a way to visually tell this story by creating a gestural, sculptural form ’emanating from above,’ as music would, to make visible just the smallest hint of this long-gone history — not through any literal interpretation of music, but just by hinting at it… by trying to create similar emotions in present-day viewers as might have been felt by those dining in this room decades or centuries ago.

This is a work I created during my one-year fellowship at the Château de la Napoule in southern France, as part of being awarded the 2022-2023 Prix de Henry Clews from the La Napoule Art Foundation.