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'It’s the biggest thing she’s ever done, Sapphire tells me. It’s at the Milton Keynes Central Bus Station, and Sapphire Goss has transformed a municipal space that like much of the area was built with uninhibited optimism but has since wilted a bit, into a sort of church. It’s already a remarkable building with it’s plonky cafe table pews, futuristic-scale bathrooms and clean modernist lines. Her projections fall not on stained glass, but on semi-translucent screens in in the windows, in which lie gathered foliage, adjacent to the reflective surfaces of the transport hub, Sapphire has built a space for reflection, literally, with its wilted window-leaves as panes, also in harmony with the season.
This kind of art - the art of public space and ambience - can be so unexpectedly self-expressive. Calm and understated, commanding its space with a authoritative peace, it’s as if the artist has grown beyond her body into a communion with the light and the walls. It’s not zany or dominant, but quietly assured of its nature. It is without slogans or bragging. It is - and this is high praise - not corporate. How joyous it must be to become ephemeral, and at the same time host people, chat, gain feedback.
Of course it’s about nature. No slogans, just the quiet addition of branches and leaves from Milton Keynes edgelands. It is, actually not quite a church but more of a Sukkah, with ambient music and looping overlapping window projections, and the presence - whether tangible or not - of the artist. Hopefully, coming to a city near you soon, and hopefully even bigger.'
Speaking of visionary engagement, there are other examples we should spend a bit of time on; one being Sapphire Goss‘ video installation Eternity City. This is a complex, layered work installed at the Old Milton Keynes bus station...Sapphire’s video installation grew out of a long engagement with various groups of residents in MK, and research into the history and design, and natural patterns of the place. Samplings of nature taken from around Milton Keynes are an integral layer of the final work. The work features various geometrically patterned slides based on these processes, set to the accompaniment of a beautiful ambient sound track by Rob Shields, based on sampling of local sounds. The passing hushed swoosh of rubber on tarmac is ubiquitous everywhere in MK.
'Really beautiful and weirdly moving. Kind of gets to the heart of Milton Keynes, infinite paradox. Loved it'
'I greatly enjoyed the project here, it made me think more deeply about MK as a living and breathing entity rather than simply a stop on the M1. Sapphire Goss’s work begins to unlock the deeper meaning of urban landscapes'
'The footage is incredibly beautiful and it’s hard to believe it’s all from around Milton Keynes. I love the display of the footage over the top of the decaying leaves.'
'It really highlights the subtle, sometimes forgotten nuances that you miss living in a city.'
Audience testimonials (via survey)