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6.6 and 4

Neon, laminate plywoods (cherry,walnut, birch, oak), painted aluminium
79 3/4” diameter

Raphaele Shirley’s sculpture 6.6 and 4 is comprised of a concentric wooden ringed structure that expands outwards from the wall in a concave quarter sphere, a silver aluminium disk and neon. The wood is left natural frontally, Dutch metal leafed on its back and is backlit with a white neon strip. The whole is set by a silver metal disk hung on the wall behind. The central wood rings expand in diameter outward to build a shallow bowl shape.

Light, both in absence and abundance, pushes against the ripple-like structure of the central ring. Viewed frontally, there is an optical phenomenon akin to an eclipse, a dark celestial body dramatically lit in a solar glow.

The work resonates with the ambient room appearing as texture, rhythm in the day and, as the light fades, as a presence from the beyond, dark, glowing and unknown. The artwork engages the surrounding space and viewer, propelling contemplations of meaning about the concept of ‘totality” whether it be in art, religion and/or science.

6.6 and 4 is part of Shirley’s light sculpture series inspired by the painting “ The Creation of the World and the Expulsion from Paradise” by Giovanni di Paolo (1445).

In this series Shirley explores the relationship between the concept of totality or “the Universe” and how it can be formally represented. By extracting the circular orb of di Paolo’s painting, and playing with alternate colours; an original representation of a Ptolemaic Universe (where the earth is at the center of all) 6.6 and 4 begins to drift towards Eastern notions of the “whole” or “absolute” found in Zen Buddhism for example, or symbologies related to the form of the circle.