Luminous Ground

2017 – ONGOING

Not long ago, man brought the skies closer to earth by covering the interior of domes and praying halls with polychrome tiles, representing heaven looking over man; heaven made from the earth; from clay on the bed of rivers, the soil that embraced layers and layers of organic and non-organic matter that flowed in the rivers over millions and millions of years.

Now, telescopes bring the skies closer to us; but looking at the night sky, with telescope or naked eye, we are unwittingly gazing billions of years back, only assuming we are witnessing the Now. The (GOODS/ERS2 Field) image from the Hubble telescope shatters the illusion as it shows around 7,500 galaxies spanning through more than 12 billion years of cosmic history, shaking the foundations of our anthropocentric history.

Mirroring this image of the cosmos on tiles installed on the gallery floor, the tile installation produced in- situ with the dimensions of the skylight directly above. The new work shifts the place of heaven and earth again, this time by inviting us to shift the direction of our gaze, to imagine the “Original Gaze,” of the skies looking at us. And this calling, to shift the gaze, is a call to action—action as simple as imagining ourselves as the objects of the 12 billion-year gaze.

The tiles that are made in a process that brings the four elements together, not only mirror the heaven on earth, materially and directionally, but also brings nature inside. Working with local soil to produce hand made tiles that are shaped and fired, and then treated with an altered cyanotype technique, in which the surface is treated with potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate, where the red iron changes into blue by being exposed to the Sun; from the color of the earth to the color of the sky. The work is birthed by light.

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