A unique adaptation of a traditional chessboard, Chess Block is both an abstract lighting object and a functional design piece. A game of chess offers the competitors a platform on which to engage in a strategic and sophisticated game of mental skill. The beauty of the artwork embodies the spirit of the game, and its three dimensions bring volume and elegance to chessboard design. It comprises 64 K9 solid glass vertical rods (a type of glass crystal commonly used in chandeliers) that connect the mirror-polished stainless steel base and top plate. When illuminated, light transmits from the rods to each chess piece to reveal a representation of the rooks, bishops, knights and so on within. Chess Block is unique for its use of remote LED light delivery through the glass to achieve the ‘extruded’ chessboard look. It combines a usable object with intricate lighting components, reducing both to basic geometric elements.
"There’s a part of me that’s always wrestling with the idea that I should focus on a singular aspect of my work. So, should I work with the video pieces or should I work with the design objects? I think a long time ago I just gave up trying to decide and embraced the two. That’s why a lot of the pieces actually have this incredible overlap between a digital light framework and a mechanical framework, where no details are left undefined. Perhaps artworks such as Chess Block, Shimmer, Digital Shimmer and Baby Shimmer are very much about this relationship with light that I see in the digital pieces and the screen-based pieces. To me, light and colour are so important. Throughout my schooling, through high school and beyond, I’ve always been involved in theatre design, stage sets and lighting design. It meant as a 14 year old I had this experience that influences my art now. I remember when I was doing theatre, there was always the thing about actors who have to stay in character because they never know when they are going to be photographed. They need to look absolutely perfect and I kind of use that for my work: the idea that even if you’re watching one of the flowers in Bloomed doing something purely whimsical, like waving hello to you, if you were to take a still of it, it would always be in character. The stills of any of the artworks never look like they are doing anything out of place. It’s not until you see them in life and you see them in motion and actually living that you really comprehend their full story." - Dominic Harris
Extract from interview with Dominic Harris by Simon Quintero.
Edition of 8 + 2 Artist Proofs + 2 Museum Proofs
Glass, LED, electronics, stainless steel
Dimensions in MM:
500 (W) x 500 (H) x 500 (D) mm
Dimensions in INCHES:
19.7 (W) x 19.7 (H) x 19.7 (D) inches