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White Hot

Artist Statement

On my first visit to Loch Lomond there was a hazy mist and the surrounding mountains and countryside were completely obscured. I was stuck by the idea of mirage, an optical illusion and deception in the landscape. I decided to develop the idea and work on a conspiracy to disconcert the visitors to Loch Lomond, the purpose of the conspiracy was to entice the park visitors to look closer, to investigate their surroundings more acutely, and to be more alert. I hoped to achieve this by constructing a piece of work that acted as a double take: a second look occasioned by surprise.

I discovered an area that was to be the site of a new floodwall to help prevent soil erosion from the loch side. Working closely with traditional local wallers, we created a wall built entirely out of quartz crystal quarried from the hills close to Drymen. The quartz was created by the volcanic activities of the ice age 300 million years ago; hence itís title ĎWhite Hotí. I feel that the wall is a success because of itís magic: the art of influencing events by controlling nature. Visitors of the Loch have described it as a breaking wave, a snowdrift and a block of ice.

The wall built from unconventional material does demand a double take. Scientists discovered quartz crystal could be programmed because of its piezoelectric properties. Today, quartz crystal is indispensable to the international electronics industry for use in everything from watches and radios to the Silicon Valley microcomputer chips used in everything from cars, to satellites to lasers and other electrical components, which permeate our society.

Fundamentally quartz crystal is everywhere: In just fifty short years our technological civilisation has become quartz based, a healing stone in one hand and an electronic conspiracy in the other. Julienne is based in London and has previously produced public art, and works closely linked with the environment including furniture and garden design.