Fascinated by how the play of light and dust enhanced the natural architectural beauty of the Chatham Historic Dockyard in the UK, Charlotte Smith created Ephemeral Rays to explore the volume of light determined by light, space and time. The space itself is already perfectly delineated, while the dust that has amassed there stands as a testament to the passage of time and historic significance of the place. The true component is the natural light that pours in and seeks out the most hidden nooks and crannies.
Small particles of dust can be seen drifting through the beams of light, while the light refracted by the hundreds of bulbs exists as an echo of each fleeting ray. The easy tangibility of the bulbs and dust in the otherwise empty space help give the light visible edges and dimensions, allowing the viewer to marvel in the expanse of crafted illumination.
The original piece was a site-specific installation for the Joining The Docks Fine Art Degree Show. Charlotte later made a film of her work called Eternal Ephemeral Rays which she screened at Galvanize, a cross-disciplinary project exploring the architecture and infrastructure of culture through art performance, installation and music.