A Perfect Hour
A video installation
Summer 2005 and continuing.

The Two Minarets imagespacerspacer

“A Perfect Hour” was inspired by a phrase from the book “Arabia Deserta” by the English scholar and epic poet Charles M Doughty, who travelled in Arabia between 1876 and 1878. Lynn MacRitchie edited a new edition of the book, published by Bloomsbury in 1989.

In trying to find a way to capture a moment of “blissful sweetness,” Doughty’s description of experiencing rose fragrance in “Arabia Deserta”, in summer 2005 the artist made many visits to the rose garden in Regent’s Park in London. One day, she noticed that the Post Office tower electronic communications mast was clearly visible rising above the rose garden. She also noticed that, at the other end of the park, the minaret of the Regent’s Park mosque was visible rising above the boating lake. The video juxtaposes these two scenes. In each one, people from many nationalities and walks of life enjoy peaceful activities in the park. Above them rise the two towers, one a very modern, one a very ancient, means of communication. To shoot each scene, a video camera was set up, static, and allowed to run for an hour. The two scenes were then edited down to thirty minutes each, combining to create a “perfect hour”, a time of contemplation, bringing east and west, the ancient and the modern world, together. Screened on adjacent walls, the two images are connected by a path of rose petals.

In order to complete the installation, the artist undertook a journey from London to Istanbul and Damascus, meeting with artists and discussing how they might make work in relation to the theme of “A Perfect Hour”. Sadly, however, conflict in the area has prevented further work being done to complete this stage of the project. The intention remains eventually to show the original work as part of an international exhibition.

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