Archives for posts with tag: Mary Yacoob

Delighted that my film Cosmic Chiasmus: crossing the universe was screened at Contemporary Calgary Gallery for the 2022 Particle + Wave Festival

The Particle + Wave Festival is an annual media arts festival held by EMMEDIA with exhibitions, screenings and audiovisual performances by local, national and international media artists at multiple art venues around Calgary, Alberta.

The Earth is continuously being bombarded by a flux of particles called cosmic rays. Now that I have the Cosmic Ray Detectors counting particle events and flashing LED’s I am thinking about the design of the encasement for them. Trying to decide between something smooth and technical or something more alchemical looking. At the moment it is just cardboard with two printers loupe lenses.

Progress has been made getting the python script running to write the event data directly to a computer. I have Mami Fukunaga to thank for this.

Comp_date Comp_time Event Ardn_time[ms] ADC[0-1023] SiPM[mV] Deadtime[ms] Temp[C] Name

2022-04-07 11:20:50.567000 1   624                174                     29.79     726              20.90 susan1

2022-04-07 11:20:50.717000 2   775                88 2                  0.96        730              20.90 susan1

2022-04-07 11:20:51.430000 3   1487                49                    15.48     916              20.90 susan1

2022-04-07 11:20:52.437000 4   2493               403                   88.99   1102              20.90 susan1

The next step is to look at writing new script to read the recorded energy of the particle data and trigger another programme for a visual effect. The visual effect will respond the energy value of the particle.

The highest energy cosmic ray observed, named the Oh-My-God-Particle, was measured to be equivalent to a brick falling on your toe, all contained in a single proton.

There are so many ways that cosmic rays impact life on Earth and in space, from the dangers of radiation to enabling carbon dating techniques or corrupting computer processor data and new technologies are engaging with them for exploration and navigation.

Muon tomography uses cosmic ray muons to generate three-dimensional images of internal geological or manmade structures and now cosmic-ray muon radiography is being investigated to allow navigation underwater and in areas where there are not so many GPS satellites such as the Arctic.

The system known as the muometric positioning system (muPS) is in development by UK based company Geoptic along with international partners. Early technology allowed for non-invasive imaging of critical infrastructure, such as railway tunnels, to identify areas of concern such as hidden voids.

The technique is being further refined using 1 metre square scintillation detectors positioned so that when a muon shower occurs the source and time is recorded and the data triangulated using atomic clocks accurate to 10 billionth of a second to determine location. In the future muPS may even provide navigation for uncrewed submarines. Links to research here Underwater positioning system. High Latitude positioning system.

Out of studio

Visiting Tate Modern

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian Pentagon 2008

Pat Steir Long Vertical Falls – aquatint and etching 1991

and exploded bling spectacle from Yayoi Kusama in the mirror rooms

Cloud Sediments – Hyphen Lab at Ambika P3

Part of Ecological Futures collective of international researchers and artists exploring modes of togetherness in the face of adversity. More info here

Urgent works deciphering many current causes for concern emphasised by being submerged and overwhelmed by ecological, social and political crises in this cavernous underground space awash with water/world problems swelling and rising.

London Mithraeum

Who knows what went on in this boys club nearly 2000 years ago. The cult of Mithras, a mystery religion practised from the 1st to the 4th centuries AD., also known as the Mysteries of Mithras; its origins are uncertain and what is known is pieced together from archeological discoveries. A feast, a seven stage initiation, dining with the sun god and slaughter of a bull feature.

Strange in the current climate to watch the footage from the 1950’s excavation of the ruins after the bombing of London reduced the city to rubble and the Temple of Mithras was unearthed. Thousands flocked to see the archaeological site, queuing for hours to get a glimpse of the past.

I was fascinated by the lighting in this latest recreation of the Roman Cult Temple, creating ethereal walls of mist and dark smoky columns.

A visit to Greenwich

The observatory is closed at the moment but there are some beautiful astronomical treasures in the Queen’s House and the ghost of the tulip staircase to look out for.

A visit to Salisbury Cathedral

Splendid platonic solids, the world’s oldest mechanical clock and majestic cedar trees. The tomb from 1635 is of Thomas Gorges and Helena Snachenberg and the polyhedra possibly reference da Vinci’s drawings for Divina Proportione book on mathematics and a nod to sacred geometry.

Incredibly this spectacular structure is built on 4ft foundations and the ground water level must be checked regularly – hence the hole and stick.

Not only shaky foundations but adding the tallest spire in Britain caused the pillars to bow.

A visit to Kew Gardens

The proliferation of paintings in the purpose built Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens is an astonishing achievement by an amazing pioneer. Her love of botany was inspired by a visit to Kew gardens in her twenties but it wasn’t until after her Father’s death when she was forty that she began her mission to visit as many far away places as possible and paint the plants she found there. Between 1871 and 1885 Marianne travelled the world often alone capturing the scientific detail but also the beauty of the plants in their natural setting.

Zadok Ben-David Blackfield.

I remember seeing this impressive installation at Hales Gallery back in 2007, it was good to see it again and on a bigger scale. The acid etched and hand painted miniature plants are taken from 18th and 19th century botanical illustrations echoing the paintings of Marianne North in the gallery next door.

Wolfgang Buttress – The Hive is a permanent installation at Kew.

Bees communicate through vibrations. An accelerometer in a beehive at Kew senses vibrations from the activity of the bees and sends these in real-time to The Hive. One thousand LED lights respond to the vibrations along with a soundscape also triggered by signals from the real beehive. The sounds from a pre-recorded library were created when musicians improvised to a live feed of beehive sounds in the key of C, the key that bees buzz in.

Alignment at Gallery 46

Beautiful work from Mary Yacoob and Kevin Quigley exploring the mysteries of the universe that reside in the patterns and alignments of nature and human ritual.

Plus performance by Geo-metron ensemble specially commissioned for ALIGNMENT.
The Ensemble has developed work on ideas centred around Geometry, Cosmic Alignments, Earth Measurements.

From the press release:

Since 3000 BC, observers have been fascinated by the study, development and analysis of spatial relations in line, measurement, angle and shape. Through necessity, they developed techniques in the surveying and measurement of everyday phenomena.

The Greek Mathematician, EUCLID, who worked at the Library of Alexandria, described ‘10 Greek Axioms’ which he referred to as his ‘elements’. These ‘elements’ went on to form the empirical basis and foundation of science and reasoning. Euclid’s text, written in the 3rd century BC, was entitled ‘The Elements of Geometry’, or in Greek ‘Geo Metron’ (Earth Measurement). Euclid’s text continues to enlighten, and is studied today as geometry continues to sub-divide into new, advanced forms, delineating the universe around us. So important was the study of line and shape that Pythagoras and Plato often wrote ecstatically about ‘geometry’ as the key to the interpretation of the universe.  Thus, geometry gained an association with the sublime, to complement its earthy origins and its reputation as the exemplar of precise reasoning.

MARY YACOOB’S cyanotypes immerse viewers in the mysterious sensory-chromatic ambiance of star maps and the night sky. Lightboxes and colour-saturated drawings explore relations between geometry, spatial relations, and our perceptual experience. The evolution of visually complex and harmonious alignments suggest artistic creativity as a metaphor for the creativity inherent in all natural processes.

KEVIN QUIGLEY’S work is a series of drawings, mono-prints and relief printing in which he is drawing inspiration from the occult sciences of geomancy and talismanic making. Producing two sets of print works, Kevin Quigley sets out to explore the esoteric meaning of number, markmaking and alignment from ‘earth energies’ in the landscape to power sigils used throughout magic and religious traditions.

Splendid trip to Worthing to see Anne Krinsky‘s Shifting Shorelines installation on the sea front and exhibition Fugitive at Worthing Museum and Gallery followed by a passionate talk to a full house from marine ornithologist Lizzie Hibberd on the migrant bird visitors to the South Coast.

A paean to the fragile beauty of the South Coast wetlands under threat from pollution, bad land management and climate change.

Visit to UCL’s Astronomical Observatory in Mill Hill.

1912 UCL observatory 3

Thanks to knowledgeable hosts Mark Fuller and Thomas Schlichter for a wonderful tour of the UCL observatory and to Lumen London for organising.

1912 UCL observatory 1

Shame it was cloudy but I enjoyed seeing the telescopes and hearing the history of this beautiful site. Looking forward to future collaborations.

We didn’t see the stars outside but an archive image and a loop lens proved fascinating.

1912 UCL observatory 71912 UCL observatory 8

In the studio back after a busy year I have been tidying up, building mezzanine storage shelves and planning new work looking at cosmic planes, thinking about star HD70642 – a possible home from home and what lies beyond the horizon that I can never reach.

 

New Doggerland at Thames-side Gallery presents a future imagining of physical and cultural re-connection between Britain and the European mainland.

Doggerland was an area of land that once connected Britain to continental Europe. At the end of the last ice age a warming climate exposed land for habitation but gradually the lowlands were flooded as temperatures rose further then about 8,200 years ago, a combined melting of a glacial lake and a tsunami submerged Doggerland beneath the southern North Sea. Great work including these from Jane Millar, Oona Grimes and Sarah Sparkes.

It was the place to be on 31/01/2020.

Nam June Paik at Tate Modern. Amazing pioneer of technology in art. Colliding nature, entanglement, connectedness, meditation, transmission.


Trevor Paglin From ‘Apple’ to ‘Anomaly’ (Pictures and Labels) at The Barbican Curve.

The long wall is filled with thousands of pinned photographs taken from ImageNet, a publicly available data set of images, which is also used to train artificial intelligence networks. ImageNet contains more than fourteen-million images grouped into labelled categories which include the unambiguous ‘apple’ along with such terms as ‘debtors’, ‘alcoholics’ and ‘bad persons’. These definitions applied to humans by AI algorithms present an uncomfortable future of machine induced judgement.

 ‘Machine-seeing-for-machines is a ubiquitous phenomenon, encompassing everything from facial-recognition systems conducting automated biometric surveillance at airports to department stores intercepting customers’ mobile phone pings to create intricate maps of movements through the aisles. But all this seeing, all of these images, are essentially invisible to human eyes. These images aren’t meant for us; they’re meant to do things in the world; human eyes aren’t in the loop.’ Trevor Paglen

Interestingly there was no photography allowed in the Trevor Paglen show. So I tried Image net for an image to post. I searched for ‘artist’ but ImageNet is under maintenance so I tried Google and this is the first image I got.

2001 artist

Another great show from Kathleen Herbert, A Study of Shadows at Danielle Arnaud. Using the cyanotype to interrogate the history and science of Prussian Blue and discover what emerges from the shadows through process and research. We learn – ‘Prussian Blue has a unique chemical structure and was originally created through the cyanotype process. It was the colour used to measure the blueness of the sky and was also used in the UK during the Chernobyl disaster as an antidote to radiation poisoning, preventing Caesium 137 from entering the food chain. Prussian Blue also has the ability to heal itself; if the intensity of its colour is lost through light-induced fading, it can be recovered by being placed in the dark.’

2001 Kathleen Herbert 4

The sound and video work Everything is Fleeing to its Presence relates a narrative of impressions and scientific facts while the visuals of varying tones of blue appear and disappear in hypnotic succession. Together the effect is of immersion, like the chemically coated paper, in a pool of blue.

Mary Yacoob Schema at Five Years Gallery. Also using cyanotypes, but here exploring the architectural roots of this process through precise silhouettes, detailed drawing, structure and form which is then exposed to the unpredictable chemistry to produce beautiful outcomes.

2001 Mary Yacoob (1)

Anselm Keifer at White Cube Bermondsey.  Superstrings, Runes, The Norns, Gordian Knot all tied together in characteristically monumental paintings thick with stuff in an attempt to connect complex scientific theory with ancient mythology.

2001 Anselm Keifer 12001 Anselm Keifer 2

William Blake at Tate Britain. What visions, such torment. So much mortal flesh.

Anne Hardy The Depth of Darkness, the Return of the Light winter commission for Tate Britain, a sort of after party dystopia with an impressive soundscape of rain, thunder, birds and insects inspired by pagan descriptions of the winter solstice – the darkest moment of the year.

2001 Tate Britain Anne Hardy

We sit together for a minute at Thames-side Gallery. Alex Simpson and Alice Hartley share a similar sensibility making dynamic and intuitive works. The gallery is alive with gestural forms, captured fragments and movement held momentarily in stasis, both fragile and immediate.

2001 Alex Simpson2001 Alice Hartley

The Computer Arts Society, The Lumen Prize and Art in Flux join London Group members at The Cello Factory for a second In The Dark curated mash up of light and technology artworks that overlap and collide in Even darker. Curated by clever duo interactive filmmakers Genetic Moo, artists include Carol Wyss and Sumi Perera.

 

Bridget Riley at Hayward Gallery. Messing with perception; undulations and vibrations.

2001 Bridget Riley (1)

Mark Leckey O’ Magic Power Of Bleakness at Tate Britain. Sense of bleakness achieved in synthetic bridge recreation which gave gallery awkward angles. Voyeuristic social commentary, old rave footage. Magic found interspersed in otherworldly images contrast to dank underworld.

2001 Mark Leckey

Some beautiful artefacts in The Moon exhibition at Royal Maritime Museum Greenwich celebrating 50 years since the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Astronomicum Caesarean 1540 – rotating paper discs are used to track the moon’s position which the physician would then interpret to predict if the patient might improve or relapse.

1912 Moon Exhibition volvelle

Orrery 1823-27 by John Addison includes a special geared section to show the rise and fall of the moon and mimicking the tilt of its orbit.

1912 Moon Exhibition orrery

Selenographia 1797 by John Russell. It models the slight wobble or libration of the moon meaning that over time a little more than half of the side of the moon is visible from Earth.1912 Moon Exhibition selenographia

Moon rocks, encased.

1912 Moon Exhibition rocks

A Distant View III by United Visual Artists. A 3D rendering in wood of original NASA data imaging of the moon’s surface from the Orbiter mission 1966/7

1912 Moon Exhibition UVA

Very lucky to be invited by Rachael Allain for a tour of The Queen’s House at the National Maritime Museum Greenwich led by curator Matilda Pye. We saw the Susan Derges commission Mortal Moon inspired by the Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth 1 and a celestial globe, dating from 1551.

1912 susan derges-mortal-moon

The fractal elegance of the Tulip staircase.

1912 Queen's House Tulip Staircase

Which is also where the Queen’s House ghosts were inadvertently photographed by retired Canadian Reverend R.W Hardy on his visit in 1966. Recreated in situ by Matty with mobile. Apparently photographic experts examined the original negative and found no signs of tampering.

1912 Queen's House Ghosts

Ending the tour with Tacita Dean’s poignant photos of the desolate shell of the Teignmouth Electron, the yacht that bore Donald Crowhurst to his miserable and solitary death. It looks so small.

1912 Tacita Dean

Immersive installations inviting a change of consciousness at TRANSFORMER: A Rebirth Of Wonder presented by The Store X The Vinyl Factory. Including Doug Aitken NEW ERA dramatic video-scape looking at the first phone call and future communication highway.

1911 Doug Aitken 21911 Doug Aitken

Mark Bradford’s paintings in Cerberus at Hauser & Wirth London recall the vibrant matter of creation, the splitting of the earth in molten rivulets to expose the dark underbelly.

1911 Mark Bradford

I am reading W. G. Sebald’s rambling Rings of Saturn. Revisiting my home county and local haunts through his eyes. He set off in 1992 but it feels like a journey back further in time as there are so many reminiscences and anecdotes from the past. Among the vaguely defined histories is the story of the demise of the estate of Henstead Hall under guardianship of the eccentric Major Wyndham Le Strange who shunned the outside world and took to a literally underground existence.

These images from 2014 when I visited the abandoned walled garden at Henstead became fragments for my work titled Pairi Daêza, an ancient Iranian word meaning ‘around’ and ‘wall’; the origin of ‘paradise’.

1705 Open Studios Pairi Daeza

A tenuous link but I discovered Henstead Hall subsequently become home to Douglas Farmiloe a self-described “Mayfair playboy” who had found himself in the scandal pages of the News of the World during the 1930s, after an indiscretion with a hostess from the West End ‘Paradise Club’.

 

More excellent news is that I have been accepted as one of the Open Door Residency Artists for the BEYOND project run by Allenheads Contemporary Arts to take advantage of its new on-site astronomical observatory and to consider the word BEYOND as an open ended starting point for discussion.

The timing is perfect as I am about to begin my Chisenhale Studio4 Residency where I will have a large space to develop ideas from this experience that build on my current research looking at cosmic particles, the shape of the universe and the philosophies and mythologies that first attempted to understand the cosmos and relate its vastness to the human experience.

1802 frozen galaxyI spent a wonderful weekend with 12 artists enjoying perfect moon gazing weather in the dark skies of Northumberland, seeing galaxies in frozen puddles, plunging into the darkness of the forest or the inflatable planetarium and discussing ideas generated as we shared our own interests and observations.

 

1802 forest

I am thinking about what stories might be told if our ancient eyes had reached beyond those points marked out on the first star charts. Maybe Atlas would have had more daughters. Hopefully with the help of the brilliant open source planetarium Stellarium that we were introduced to I can add another layer of narrative.

From my vantage point on earth, the moon slides quietly, the stars twinkle through the atmosphere, satellites pass serenely by, but I know that just 15km above my head is a very violent place of high energy collisions as protons slam into our atmosphere, break apart and rain down, on and through me.

1802 Cloud chamber lightningThe opening paragraphs of The Power by Naomi Alderman prickle with the power they describe

“The shape of power is always the same; it is the shape of a tree…branching and re-branching…the outline of a living thing …the shape of rivers leading to the ocean…the shape that lightning forms…the shape that electricity wants to take is that of a living thing .. this same shape grows within us …power travels in the same manner between people..”

A brilliant novel. Shifts perspective to reflect the world back at us to shine the light on some uncomfortable truths.

A fascinating book to help understand the activity of matter is The Particle Zoo: The Search for the Fundamental Nature of Reality by Gavin Hesketh. I got this book to learn about the characters of the 12 fundamental particles and the forces that they interact with. It presents an unseen world of spinning, colour changing oppositely charged partners, repelling, attracting, sticking together, passing messages or passing straight through each other; releasing and absorbing energy in constant activity. Out of this melee which appears, once you get to the smallest scale, to be made of nothing but points of energy all things are formed.

1802 muon

I have been reading this in tandem with Stephen Fry’s reworking of the Greek Myths – Mythos. Just as improbable.

1802 parthenon

Captivating performance storyteller Ben Haggarty brought to exquisite and gory life three retextured Greek Myths under the banner The Fate We Bring Ourselves – decisions have consequences at the Crick Crack Club event Myths Retold at the British Museum. He spoke afterwards about the intimate space of the darkened circle that forms around the storyteller where each audience member feels personally addressed.

1802 Ben Haggerty

Mythological thinking looks at the whole – the micro and the macro and sees commonality.

The New Materialisms reading group that I have been a mostly absent member of is currently reading Donna Haraway Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene

 

1802 Donna Haraway

Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival

 

Fabrizio Terranova’s film, screened at the LCC, brought the text to life with her infectious mix of enthusiasm, joy and bewilderment at the world and her passion for new ways of thinking. The director spent a few weeks with her and her aging dog Cayenne in their Southern California home, exploring their personal universe as well as the longer development of her views on kinship and planetary welfare. Animated by green screen projections, archival materials and fabulation he has created an enchanting insight into the mind of Donna Haraway.

 

1802 Bjorn Hatleskog

Bjorn Hatleskog Perpetual Jellyfish in Liminality at Gallery 46

 

“The tentacular are not disembodied figures; they are cnidarians, spiders, fingery beings like humans and raccoons, squid, jellyfish, neural extravaganzas, fibrous entities, flagellated beings, myofibril braids, matted and felted microbial and fungal tangles, probing creepers, swelling roots, reaching and climbing tendrilled ones. The tentacular are also nets and networks, it critters, in and out of clouds. Tentacularity is about life lived along lines — and such a wealth of lines — not at points, not in spheres.” Donna Haraway

Also ‘Staying with the Trouble’ and hoping for a positive collective future are London duo patten at Tenderpixel asking ‘how do we make it to 3049?’

1802 patten 3049 3

I had the pleasure of hearing Mark Dion talk about his work, love of systematics and the usefulness of taxonomies as tools of communication at Whitechapel Gallery on the opening day of his show Theatre of the Natural World.  Like Donna Haraway, he is concerned with extinctions, environmental exploitation and catastrophic interaction with other species and expressed a pessimistic resignation that our future is unlikely to be a positive one unless there are some radical changes.

1802 Mark Dion 1

1802 Mark Dion 2

Archaeology came with the Anthropocene.

1802 Mark Dion 3

His recreation of a Wunderkammer is another step in the journey for a collection of objects that were removed from their original environment, placed on display in a cabinet of wonders, then captured as drawings that were turned into engravings and then published in print.

1802 Mark Dion 5

Manually sculpting the objects using the limited information gleaned from the prints as a guide they are returned to 3D. Ghosts of the past losing clarity with each transformation.

1802 Mark Dion 4Looking at the aura of objects Secular Icons in an Age of Moral Uncertainty at Parafin questions the idea of art as a system of belief based around looking and valuing objects beyond their intrinsic materiality. Lower floor was closed when I visited so didn’t see everything. Though just contemplating the horrors associated with Indrė Šerpytytė’s giant lightbox totem constructed using the first blocks of colour that appear from the google search ‘Isis beheading’ was enough.

1802 Indre Serpytyte

Indrė Šerpytytė 2 Seconds of Colour

Hell on earth continues. Glenn Brown Come To Dust at Gagosian had some genuinely creepy offerings and an obsessive repetitiveness.

1802 Glenn Brown

I did find Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above compelling despite its bleak vision. Hung at an angle to appear that the sky is indeed falling and it is not the heaven we wished for that is descending upon us.

 

1605 Mercator World Map 1569When paradise could not be mapped on the known land it was believed it must be on an island over the ocean. Dare to dream.

 

 

on my island none of this would be true  – a dynamic group show at the new Arebyte Gallery space on City Island curated by Chris Rawcliffe took its title from the last line of a poem called Security, written by Tom Chivers for his book Dark Islands (Test Centre, 2015).

1802 Tom Chivers Dark Islands

It was another chance to see Verity Birt’s Venus Anodyomene a spoken text and video work with Holly Graham and Richard Forbes-Hamilton.

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The rhythmic narrative evoking a slippy oozing layered earth world of geology, archaeology, lost time or excavated memories was enhanced by the boardwalk approach to the gallery in torrential rain alongside the exposed mudbed of the River Lea.

1802 Hannah Regal

Hannah Regal What Transpires in the Field of a Body That is the Base of Her

1802 Gery Georgieva

Gery Georgieva Europa Airlines Stand

 

“Again and again
we’re
expelled
from a garden
that never
existed” Ludwig Steinherr from Before the Invention of Paradise

What goes on in nature under our radar beautifully captured in Sam Laughlin’s series A Certain Movement as part of the Jerwood Photoworks Awards. Intimate moments and hidden processes lifted from nature with a quiet sensitivity.

 

1802 Sam Laughlin

Sam Laughlin from the series A Certain Movement

 

1802 Florence Trust

Visited Mayra Ganzinotti in the chilled and vaulted splendour of Florence Trust Winter Open Studios. Her beautiful work mixes crystal forms in geology with the body; rhythm and structure.

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Mayra Martin Ganzinotti

Other exciting work and use of materials going on was from Amanda Baum and Rose Leahy

Unexpected juxtapositions offer new paths to tread.

A group of artists and writers, selected by Payne Shurvell, were each asked to respond to the same image either with a text or intervention directly over the image. 256 possible diptychs were created. New pairings are hung daily in random combinations pulled out of a hat. The Arca Project lets fate or coincidence decide the outcome the audience will experience depending on when they visit. The concept to present multiple readings of one event draws on the ethos of W. G. Sebald who revelled in mixing things up.

1802 TonyGrisoni StephGoodger

I only had time for a brief visit to Liminality [The Unknown] at Gallery 46 which was a shame as I think I missed some good things. But I did see the delicate and fluid interpretations of sound technology diagrams by Mary Yacoob

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Mary Yacoob Draft Drawings

also her meticulous ‘Seraphim for Sanctus’ inspired by a choral score for ‘Sanctus’ and the prophet Isaiah’s visionary six-winged angels.

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Mary Yacoob ‘Seraphim for Sanctus’ detail

I have been contemplating the circling angels of the Empyrean that dazzled Dante when he reached the final sphere of heaven. It might be the first time I have really thought about an angel as an other being/species not just a good human with wings.

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Gustave Doré The Divine Comedy’s Empyrean