Lux Nova (2010)
In my ongoing exploration of the dome as a medium for digital art, I have become interested in the history of domes as architectural and religious spaces.
Lux Nova is an attempt to place the viewer in a succession of domes (or dome-like environments) that move through this history, and also reflects on the importance of light in these environments. The title is a reference to the theological concept of the “New Light” (lux nova) developed in the Middle Ages and used by the pioneering Abbot Suger in his rebuilding of St-Denis abbey. His use of large stained-glass windows enabled the church to be pervaded by coloured light, as he said in his own poem: “For bright is that which is brightly coupled with the bright / And which the new light pervades” Suger is often acknowledged as the first to build in a truly Gothic style.
The scenes represented in Lux Nova are as follows:
- Maes Howe in Orkney, a neolithic burial chamber where light enters the interior at the winter solstice
- The Dendera Zodiac from southern Egypt
- The interior of the Pantheon in Rome with an image of Helios set in the central opening.
- The rose window at Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, with an alchemical figure in the roundel
- The Opus Medico-Chymicum, a 17th century alchemical diagram by J Daniel Mylius
- Brunelleschi’s dome of the Pazzi Chapel, with an armillary sphere inserted
- Finally, a view of Earth from the Cupola of the International Space Station, the largest window in space.