light lives in a box
A sturdy cube, faced with black leather, is mounted to the wall with a hinged arm. The cube’s sides are held together with steel brackets, and the interior is lined with mirrors that reflect each other endlessly. Inside the box sits a limestone-walled chamber: here sit four short wicks floating in olive oil, above a hollow filled with moss. The wicks are lit and give off a warm glow.
For me, in the beginning, the process of making sculpture was about reduction. It became an economy of means. … [N]ow in a way this process has changed or reversed, and it is now about addition. I have always really loved materials… Siobhán Hapaska
In light lives in a box, domestic and ritual associations vie with industrial and natural materials. Facile interpretations glide off the work as easily as light bounces off its mirrored surfaces. The flames can be read as votive offerings, or a form of memorial remembrance.
The artist has used votive lights in other recent works. In footings (2011), 25 small stone cubes are placed in a grid on the floor. Each cube holds a lit votive. The cubes resemble the footings used as the foundation for tall buildings, and this work has been described as “alluding to the footprint of the World Trade Center towers” in New York.
Lisa Martin, Exhibition Assistant for Siobhán Hapaska, September 2013