Goffe Armory, (City Wide Open Studios)
New Haven CT
7 Hand-blown glass rondels
7 Circular mirrors
The installation, Accendo, meaning to kindle, illuminate or inflame is based on the 2014 City Wide Open Studios theme of Transported/Illuminated. This site-specific work relates to the historical function of armories and is a response to the architecture of the Goffe Armory. The work incorporates seven glass rondels and seven mirrors.
Rondels, small hand-blown glass circles, were developed for sanctuaries in the mid-15th Century. These pieces of thin colored or stained glass utilized natural light’s ability to transmit and transform interior spaces. In doing so, it aided in “transporting” the church worshippers to a spiritual realm, another reality. Accendo is based on a similar notion of illumination and transportation. The glass used for this piece was fabricated so that it would alter the viewer’s sense of scale and perception of the space.
The seven rondels reference the days of the week. Suspended from the ceiling trellis and hanging 8 ft. above the ground, they are positioned in front of 7 windows on the west side of the Armory. The respective iris and grid shapes of the rondels and windows are projected onto the floor, arcing across the 25” mirrors as the sun light in the space changes throughout the day. For a short period of time, as light passes from the windows through the glass, the mirrors reflect and cast orbs of light on the ceiling.
Through the specific arrangement of its constituent parts, the piece represents a personal response to the space, informed by my father’s service as a Colonel in the United States Army. He headed the supply unit of numerous military bases and as a high ranking officer oversaw the care, storage and transportation of military equipment including munitions similar to those stored in the Goffe Armory by its former occupants; the National Guard. This site work involving lens, light and reflection speaks to both a psychological and physical place, a feeling of being both watchful and watched over. It is for me a visceral sense of perception as informed by the physics of light and its interaction in an optical system.