REVELATORS I–VII

Installation, 2013

Helen Mac Mahon (IE)

Revelators I–VII is an installation consisting of seven towers made of over 400 acrylic fresnel lenses. Manufactured as a reading aid to magnify what the viewer is looking at, they equally have the ability to warp and distort all that it is their very function to enhance. Using this potential for distortion, these towers have been created in such a way that when they are placed together, they create a wall through which everything we see is inverted.

The illusion is created in that the world outside is segmented and turned upside down as is everyone and everything within the space that the piece is installed. The focus of attention is stretched and warped, often beyond recognition, as it is viewed through the lenses. The lenses respond to light, so they subtly change throughout the day in tandem with the daylight and the eventual transition to artificial lighting at night giving the sense of yet another level of flux and change.

The concentric circles are etched into the surface of the lenses in order to focus light but they also often divide the light, creating beautiful spectrums of colour that appear from time to time in the different layers of the towers. The installation is designed to be interactive and invites the viewer to move around the piece.As they do so, it plays with their perception of the world. An entirely different view is experienced through each of the different facets of the towers. This interactivity is a very important part of the installation as it shows the viewer that their movements within the space and around the tower have a direct and perceptible effect on what they see within the piece, creating an artificial ecosystem where both art and viewer are interconnected.

Artist's Statement

My practice is currently concerned with the phenomena of light, movement, perception, and space. The work observes and reveals the artificial ecosystem that exists in the interplay of people, their surroundings and these intangible elements. Changes that occur in any one of these components have a perceptible impact on the other. Rarely static, they exist in a perpetual state of transformation. The work functions as a metaphor for the continual change that exists in the world around us despite our illusions of stability.