Cloud of Unknowing
The Cloud of Unknowing is a fog installation that plays with the boundary of materiality and immateriality. The concept of being ‘courageous enough to surrender one's mind and ego to the realm of "unknowing"’ is present in many forms of meditation, contemplation and prayer. The piece references a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer from the late Middle Ages and encourages us to move from intellection to experience. This common ground from multiple perspectives is shown through the use of combining light within the installation to signify an ephemeral and nebulous moment of awakening.
Much like faith, the piece has a sense of presence without definition of form, seeping into its environment. It is ever changing and elusive, much like our understanding of our place in the cosmos. As we approach comprehension, the edges dissolve away into the abstract nature and enormity of the concept, back to the ‘naked blind feeling of being’.
The piece is constructed of panels of perspex that are individually suspended from the ceiling of Mickley church. Each panel is held 4mm apart so as to allow the box to fill with fog and slowly seep out of the edges. The installation is triggered my motion sensors, so as each new viewing takes place, the Cloud of Unknowing comes into being.
The Cloud of Unknowing was commissioned by Sculpt, a contemporary art trail in the countryside of North Yorkshire. Seven artists responded to seven churches with site-specific work. The project was supported by Arts Council England.