Relics

ColmCilleSpiral_Michael3

Relic I-VII.  Silver gelatine Prints, 8×10” inches

 Hours

 

ColmCillespiralMichael2

Hours I – Prime (the new hour). Reversed photographic negative backed with solid sterling silver, 20×24” inches

Hours II – Terce (the golden hour). Reversed photographic negative backed with solid sterling silver, 20×24” inches

Hours III – Sext  (the hour of light). Reversed photographic negative backed with solid sterling silver, 20×24” inches

Hours IV – None (the hour of temptation). Reversed photographic negative backed with solid sterling silver, 20×24” inches

Hours V – Vespers (the hour of contemplation). Reversed photographic negative backed with solid sterling silver, 20×24” inches

Hours VI– Compline (the hour of prayer). Reversed photographic negative backed with solid sterling silver, 20×24” inches

Hours VII- Matin (the longest hour). Reversed photographic negative backed with solid sterling silver, 20×24” inches

Sundials

 

ColmCillesSpiralMichael

1. Longtitude, solid steel plate cut with water, 8×10” inches

2. Latitude, solid steel plate cut with water, 8×10” inches

3. Elevation, solid steel plate cut with water, 8×10” inches

4. Summer Time, solid steel plate cut with water, 8×10” inches

5. Winter Time, solid steel plate cut with water, 8×10” inches

6. Magnetic Declination, solid steel plate cut with water, 8×10” inches

7.Tide, solid steel plate cut with water, 8×10” inches

The work on the project is concerned with the notions of time and place. Making a single picture on each of the canonical hours, which mark the divisions of the day in terms of periods of fixed prayer at regular intervals an attempt is made to connect with a time that has passed. Each hour and each division of the day is characterised by conditions. Conditions of light and conditions of activity describe and organise each day that passed and is to come. The monks that followed this strict structure did so with the intention of allowing for themselves the opportunity to venture on devotional pilgrimages each day. The series of pictures attempts to do the same. The photographic gesture is subject to a strict schedule that occurs every three hours from the first light to the darkest hour. Light and subject matter follow the passing of the time. Each picture is made by reversing a photographic negative and backing it with a plate of solid sterling silver. Dense and heavy, each picture attempts to comment on a set of conditions that surrounds both the photographic gesture and the monastic life. Both are a pilgrimage – and as such both are acts of faith.

Bone fragments, sea shells, stones and quartz crystals were collected throughout the residency and brought back. As with every memento these too speak of an absence and a presence at the same time. Each object was selected, collected, removed and brought back to function as a relic of practices that are migratory and subject to the passage of time.

Each sundial is a marker and a descriptor at the same time.Whilst each individual sundial traces the time, all sundials together mark and describe the particular geographic characteristics of the Isle of Raasay. Longtitude, Latitude, elevation sunrise and sunset, magnetic declination and the duration of the tide are each made into a solar instrument which functions as a system of coordinates.

 Michail Mersinis is a Fine Art Photography tutor at the Glasgow School of Art.