Award winning artist Ross Ashton talks about Zenith, a new work of light art that will be illuminating the inside of St James’s Church during Light Up Poole from 21 to 23 February. The work complements the large-scale sound and vision piece Horizon, created with his wife Karen Monid, for the outside of the historic Poole landmark. Taken together the two pieces encapsulate the festival theme of ‘Tides’ that artists have been asked to respond to.
Ross: Zenith is more of a light sculpture than a projection piece, basically a sensory immersive experience. We have a hemispherical mirror ball representing the surface of the Earth with two video projectors pointing at it either side projecting onto a good proportion of the surface.
If you stand on the Earth’s surface, the line that goes through the centre of the Earth, through the top of your head and out into the stars, is your zenith. The way a mirror ball works is that light beams hit it coming in straight but because of the angle they then reflect off anything up to 90 degrees away from it. If we project into the dark, we get lots of individual light beams and if we animate the video rather than it being static light it will turn on and off.
What it means is that on the outside of the church Horizon is talking about the Earth and on the inside Zenith talks about the universe by pointing out to the stars. It’s all kind of turned inside out.