An evocative and poignant work featuring a thousand hand-blown glass bells and polyphonic sound opens on Friday 20 August in The Oratory next to Liverpool Anglican cathedral.
Liverpool Biennial 2010 presents Brazilian artist, Laura Belém’s ‘The Temple of a Thousand Bells’, a beautiful new installation composed of a thousand glass bells and a polyphonic soundtrack creating a 3-D effect.
It is a new commission and trailblazer for 'Touched', Liverpool Biennial’s International 10 exhibition, which opens on 18 September. The Oratory isn’t usually open to the public so this commission provides a fantastic chance to experience a really special heritage site.
Sound will move between loudspeakers in the Grade I listed building, unveiling an ancient legend about a temple of a thousand bells that was built on an island...
Over the centuries, the island sank into the ocean, and with it, the temple. As the story unfolds, it reveals the attempts of a sailor to hear the music of those bells. The narrative is interspersed by specially composed music and sound effects.
The one thousand bells of blown glass will hang from the roof of The Oratory to complement the fine classical architecture of the space.
The bells are without clappers – the only sound will come from the recorded audio: a visual metaphor to match the legend of the lost music of the bells in the depths of the ocean. The mass of clear, translucent glass bells will evoke water, notions of spirituality and fragility. They may also suggest lyricism, dreams and imagination.
The thousand glass bells have been made at one of the UK’s few surviving traditional glass blowing workshops, the Glass Blobbery in Corwen, North Wales.
“My intention is to show a work that can touch the viewer’s ‘inner self’ – heart and soul – something we share universally and that transcends geographic and cultural boundaries,” says artist, Laura Belém.
“I am also interested in altering or creating other levels of perception of a public space for people in Liverpool.”
The installation is open to the public from 20 August to 17 September every week from Thursday to Sunday (not Monday – Wednesday) between 10am and 6pm.
It will be open on Bank Holiday Monday 30 August between 10am and 6pm and open during Liverpool Biennial 2010 18 September to 28 November Monday to Sunday, also between 10am and 6pm.
Biennial headquarters is in the Baltic Triangle: http://www.baltictriangle.co.uk/
The Oratory: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/oratory/oratory_cemetery.asp