More about Dido Monstrance, 2018
The creation of Dido Monstrance
was inspired by the design for a monstrance, probably by Benoit II Audran, that I saw in the Waddesdon Manor collection, and the monstrance sunburst detailing on a clock in the Small Library made by Jean-Pierre Latz.
The word monstrance can be translated as ‘to demonstrate’ or ‘to show’ and this is the primary purpose of monstrance used in some church services where the consecrated host is displayed. They are also used as reliquaries for relics of saints.
I chose Dido as the title, as its dictionary definition is ‘to disseminate or distribute’, words not far removed from the meaning of monstrance. It also has an informal meaning in the US of undertaking mischievous tricks or deeds.
Dido features a repeated, seated figure, at the base, possibly Chrysippus, a Stoic philosopher and scholar of the third century BC. The 3D model was made available by Scan the World, an online repository of an ever-increasing number of high quality 3D scans of museum objects. The original figure is headless, so, using 3D CAD software, I merged the head from another 3D scan to produce the complete figure. Look closely and you will see that the figure, deep in philosophical thought is staring intently at his mobile phone. And then, note the end cross sections of the sunbursts and you will see social media logos.
is intended as a thought-provoking artwork, which, whilst incorporating historical references is very much set in the 21st
century. It explores the ubiquitous presence of social media and questions the ways in which we engage and reflect upon our contemporary world.