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Vertical neon sculpture in an old church
Vertical neon sculpture in an old church

White-Light-Whirlwind, 2022. Steel, lights, and electrical fixtures. Image courtesy of Form Group.

In September 2021, an unusual venue of art was born – an abandoned 17th century church in San Carlo, Cremona, reopened its doors to the public once again, on a different mission of bringing together “contemporary art, the territory and the local community” to engage in dialogues on art. The baroque dome, the frescoes on the walls together with the ravages of time and circumstance layered the antiquated church with poetry and otherworldly allure.   

White-Light-Whirlwind by Mark Handforth, that was on show from March 18-May 31, 2022 as part of the project San Carlo Cremona turned out to be an intensely metaphorical sculpture that was also about deep spiritual connections.  On the floor of the church, Handforth's 16m high sculpture, balanced on a single point, spiralled and widened aiming for the dome. The design of the sculpture allowed for the formation of serrated lines through fluorescent lights in white, off white and violet white colour tones that played off each other, wrapping viewers in an experience that was contemporary and incorporeal yet tangible. The space added character to the sculpture while the sculpture’s transcendental layers augmented the space, birthing a symbiotic relationship.   

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