Pipes in Stripes

Submitted by John Clark

7+

Client: Lani MacGregor

Location: Latheron Wheel, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $30,000

Project Team

Artist

John Kenneth Clark

Client

Lani McGregor

Industry Resource

Tom Jacobs

Bullseye Glass

Overview

The design brief was an ongoing situation to try to find a suitable concept for this staircase window for this old Scottish manse. I developed a concept whereby music can be translated into colour. This work is made from four bagpipe tunes. The window is 8ft x 3 ft. It is made entirely from Bullseye Glass. It is a fused glass window made in four sections and is made up of almost 10,000 pieces of glass.

Goals

To add a powerful art work to inhabit this intimate environment. The musical themes were developed with the clients. The project was to be made using Bullseye Glass. Once I had created the system, the music is the source of the colour and therefore inevitable. It is a translation. It puts the artist in the same position as a classical pianist where the notes are already a given, you are interpreting. The four musical pieces are “the Rowan Tree”, “Miss McGregor’s March”, “The Flowers of the Forest” and “ Highland Whisky”. The arrangement of the four pieces create the artwork.

Process

I developed a system of giving a colour to each note on the piano keyboard. I was invited to go to Bullseye Glass in Portland Oregon to develop this system using that material. I spent over four weeks developing the method. Previously I had shown the client a possible design for this window as a graphic but it was amazing to be giving the opportunity to develop the graphic into glass. During this visit, the commission to develop the design for the project was granted. The final work was undertaken in the Bullseye Studio in Portland, Oregon. The completed work was shipped to Scotland and installed .

Additional Information

As previously stated, the work is made from almost 10,000 small strips of glass fused together. Whereas other music has possible pauses between the notes, bagpipe music is continuous. There are only nine notes possible on a bagpipe. A fuller understanding of the process can be seen in the attached video.