Ode to The Sun
A project by Sara Morrison for Radio Relay
Sara Morrison explores slippages of information and miscommunication by looking into the rise of spiritualism and séances in times of conflict and uncertainty. Her point of inspiration for ODE TO THE SUN is J’accuse, Abel Gance’s anti-war masterpiece. The ‘return of the dead’ sequence was shot in France, using 2000 soldiers who had come back on leave. These men had come straight from the Front and were due back eight days later. They played the dead knowing that in all probability they’d be dead themselves before long. Within a few weeks of their return, eighty per cent had been killed.
Sir Oliver Lodge was a British physicist famed as a pioneer in the development of wireless and radio transmission. Scientific work on electromagnetic radiation convinced Lodge that an ether existed and that it filled the entire universe. Lodge came to believe that the spirit world existed in the ether. His belief in after death survival appeared in his book, Raymond: or, Life and Death (1916), the story of the return of his son, who died in action in World War I. Raymond communicated with his father on numerous occasions via a medium. Although Sir Oliver had ample evidence of Spirit survival from the past, the series of communications from Raymond was, perhaps, the most meaningful to him, due to his personal involvement and sense of loss.
Radio Relay is a schedule of new artworks co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast. From the world’s first radio broadcast during the Easter Rising to the first trench-radio experiments in the Battle of the Somme, radio technology has played an important role. From 17th to 20th June 2016, Radio Relay tunes into the magic of radio with new commissions from Graham Fagen, Paddy Bloomer, Colm Clarke, Philip Hession, Gareth Moore, Sara Morrison and Mhairi Sutherland. Join us at one of the Radio Relay sites, tune in at home or experience extracts at www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk.
About the artist:
Sara Morrison is an artist based in Belfast. Her work generates new narratives by projecting private familial images into the public sphere, blurring what is real and imaginary. Recent exhibitions include Fantastic Voyage, Belfast Photo Festival; No More Wild Strawberries, Satis House, Belfast; Nocturama, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast; After the Future, EVA International – Biennial of visual art, Limerick.
Sara would like to thank Ruth Graham, John Higgins, Richard Davis & Jonathan Beer for all their help.
The Caretaker’s House, Templemore Bathhouse, Belfast