We are thrilled to once again feature the work of talented artists at Holiday GLOW! Read on to learn more the artists and their pieces…
Q: Can you share a little about your background as an artist and/or your creative process?
Zoelle Nagib: Making art has been a part of my life since childhood. Both of my parents’ are professional craftspeople, and their expertise in neon, ceramics, and photography laid the groundwork for my art literacy. As a pre-teen, I spent hours using a torch, making wearable art out of candy-colored strands of glass. It was during that time that I first visited Penland School of Crafts, a place that seeded my interest in virtually every process imaginable. College saw me undertake a deeply technical study of photography; it was then that my work became more politically outspoken. Post-college, I returned to Penland to both work and continue my explorations of a variety of methods and media. Currently my work often reflects my experiences as a mother in a world wrought with uncertainty, while the search for answers to my artistic questions flows from form to form.
Ed Wesly: “I got hooked on holography after witnessing a demonstration where a couple of them were made in front of a live audience at a photography teachers’ convention. Since then I’ve learned that it’s more fun to not make 3-D pictures with the technique but to sculpt with light itself to create treats for the eyes never before visualized, or even dreamed of.”
Q: Tell us about your piece(s) at Holiday GLOW.
NZ: “An imagined future requires action today. But what action? And what comes between the work of now and the bounty of then? Gardens depicts an overwhelming, tangled dream of growth. Nurturing this plot begins with planning and imagination, and continues as the gardener accepts the unfolding of nature’s gentle chaos. Uncertainty and magic balanced with encouragement and effort, resulting in a yield far greater than expected. When lit, hot pink text gives depth to a monochromatic, nocturnal garden offering dense, obscure nurishment. When extinguished, the words appear a somber blue, and the surrounding image flattens, revealing swirling tones of nearly abstract foliage.”
EW: “Spectral Igloo is a light sculpture built by Chicago Artists John E. Bannon and Ed Wesly. A 7 foot tall geodesic dome was decked out with Holographic Optical Embellishments, which are pieces of film that act like a combination of a prism and lens to transform light sources viewed through them into rainbow explosions of color floating in space. The light sources inside the dome are incandescent light bulbs and Xenon tubes, arranged to look like pebbles dropping into a pond and generating waves, analogous as to how a hologram freezes waves of an electromagnetic kind. Here is a link to a bit longer explanation, with images to make it more understandable.”
JB: “I collaborated with Ed Wesly, who is an artist working in holography (also a graduate of the UIUC). Together we made the installation entitled Spectral Igloo. This piece consists of over a hundred, hand made holograms mounted over the surface of a 7’ tall x 12’ diameter geodesic dome. The holograms, not to be confused with the name given to the contemporary version of the Pepper’s Ghost illusion of dead musicians performing today, are true holograms. Holographic Optical Elements, to be exact. A type of hologram that records onto a silver-halide emulsion, the behavior of light through a three dimensional arrangement of laboratory optics. The result is the reproduction of that behavior of light within a thin layer of film. Behaviors include the projection of rainbows from the holograms, while aspects of magnification, repetition, and spectral propagation can be seen when looking through the film.
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