Laura Belém’s The Temple Of A Thousand Bells, York St Mary’s, Castlegate, from May 25 to November 4 (From York Press)
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Laura Belém’s The Temple Of A Thousand Bells, York St Mary’s, Castlegate, from May 25 to November 4
A THOUSAND cast glass bells that “evoke a visual quality of water” will be suspended in the nave of York St Mary’s this spring.
Laura Belém’s The Temple Of A Thousand Bells is inspired by an ancient legend about a temple on an island that sinks into the ocean.
As the story unfolds, it reveals the attempts of a sailor to hear the music of the bells that were lost to the depths.
Originally commissioned for the Liverpool Biennial International 10 exhibition, when it was housed in the Oratory, the work will be reinstalled at York St Mary’s, in Castlegate, from May 25 to November 4.
Laura Turner, curator of art for York Museums Trust, says: “We first saw this incredible piece of art at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland and thought it would be ideal for the contemporary art space of York St Mary’s. We proposed the idea to Laura Belém and she was really excited about showing the piece here because it was originally created to be shown in a church-like setting.
“The ideas and imagery that the piece evokes will take on new meanings in St Mary’s.”
The glass bells in the installation have been produced individually at the Glassblobbery, Wales, and will hang with nylon strings in the nave of the former church.
“They don’t have a clapper, creating a visual metaphor that matches the narrated legend, which tells about the lost music of the bells in the depths of the ocean,” says Laura Turner.
“The mass of clear, translucent glass bells evoke a visual quality of water and notions of spirituality and evanescence. They also convey a sense of fragility, lyricism, dream, imagination, a sense of presence and absence, and memory and displacement.”
Laura Belém’s intention is to show a work that can touch the viewer’s soul and heart.
“This is something we share in common universally and that transcends geographic and cultural boundaries,” she says.
A specially composed polyphonic sound piece, creating a 3D effect to the sound of a narrated story, will accompany the bells.
Admission to the installation will be free.