Review: David Beattie




This is the first sound you hear when entering the never before seen Monumnents Room in Mary’s Hall. You are absorbed by the entire room, with it being very busy. It is in an old crypt with beautiful old stone walls.

There is a representation of the moon composed of two shapes, one yellow and the other green, mounted on a three-panel green board. However, the invigilator showed us how the yellow spotlight is all that makes the larger shape appear green, when in reality the shape is blue. This plays on ideas of misperception, depending on your perspective and knowledge.

A transmitter projects a signal towards the green panel to the representation of the moon and the signal bounces back, put through a heart rate monitor. The monitor beeps at the average rate of a heart, determined by the distance from transmitter to board, i.e. the time taken for the signal to bounce back and forth. This introduces the theme of mortality to the work.

The piece mimics a project called ‘Project Diana’ in 1946 – the first attempt to measure the distance from the earth to the moon. Also, coincidentally we discovered that the invigilator (Richard, who was super nice 🙂 and very well-informed) has a pacemaker himself. This was incredible that of all the invigilators, Richard was chosen to invigilate this work!

Beattie’s work can be seen in the Monuments Room in St Mary’s Hall throughout Arts Week. It is a must see.



Tara & Hugh

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