SOLA (2023)

Towards the Sublime.

Taking inspiration from the works of JMW Turner, John Martin and others engaging with notions of the Sublime from the Victorian period onwards, Sola alludes to the awesomeness and raw power, but also the fragility, of the natural world – and our destructive role within it.

Sunlit clouds are created and presented every few minutes in a dramatic and powerful unveiling, emerging from nowhere. Visitors’ presence within the cloudscape is allowed and encouraged, giving the opportunity to focus on the dynamic complexity of fluid cloud-like structures in three dimensions, up close, and the interplay between clouds and sunlight.

After a while both clouds and the sunlit sky begin to lose structure and form, slowly collapsing into mist and darkness. People within the work disrupt the clouds through their movement causing airflow disturbance, and the sky is revealed as a glitching panel of failing artificial light.

Sola emerged from two previous Squidsoup works. Sola/Tunnel of Light (2021) was presented as a beacon of hope in the midst of the COVID pandemic, a refuge for UK NHS (National Health Service) staff and patients at the time and place of the first mass vaccination centre in Guys’ and St Thomas Hospitals NHS Trust. The Cloud Project (2019) was a collaborative Research project with University of Plymouth (UK) investigating the potential of smoke and mist as a media element for live events and immersive experiences.

Sola was premiered at Squidsoup’s solo Beyond Submergence exhibition at Propyard, Bristol UK (July-September 2023).

Sola/Tunnel of Light won the 2021 Codaworx award for Art in Healthcare environments. The work was sponsored by Hyundai UK

The Cloud Project was funded by an Innovate Audience of the Future Design Foundation grant (2018).