Personal Journey Crafting the James Webb Telescope and a Universe of Emotions
Work no. 7, 1080 mm x 1080 mm, 2022
Celestial Collection, Jay Horan
The purpose of crafting ‘The James Webb Space Telescope and the Universe of
Emotions’ was to communicate, in an abstract form, the discovery of a link
between stars and emotions, and how they correspond with one another.
How we capture emotions and how the Webb Space Telescope
captures stars was the pivotal link that inspired the
creation of the artwork.
To communicate this link – the similarity between how we capture emotions
and the telescope captures stars – by using an abstract art form, required
a carefully planned project to manage and execute the artwork
successfully. Initially, I planned to cut the pieces into
smaller round shapes.
Somehow, it did not ‘feel’ the way I initially envisaged in the project plan.
I reluctantly experimented with applying the round pieces to the material;
I was unsatisfied with the outcome. Coincidently, I discovered a box of
mosaic pieces from another project, comprising various shapes.
Each piece represented an emotion and character that felt different.
I immediately started working with these pieces and crafting new pieces.
The project plan was modified with new crafting processes to adapt to
this positive change. Even though it had taken months to plan,
prepare and construct the art, including calculating the design
of the shape of the Webb Space Telescope, particularly the aperture
ratio to the design of the primary mirror, cutting the small pieces, sorting
by colour and shape, and then applying the pieces onto the material, the
process was still exhausting and resonated with an intensely personal
level. Each piece was unique, just as each star and emotion are unique.
The patterns depicted in the artwork represent stars and emotions orbiting
one another, categorised as if they were sharing emotions in asterisms.
Since the art was handmade, I soon discovered how challenging it was
to work on this project. It was labour-intensive, time-consuming,
and significantly demanding, emotionally and physically.
We may experience fewer or more emotions at different events and
intervals in our lifetimes. The speed at which we process these emotions
also varies, and we sometimes delay the process, attending to these emotions
at a later stage in our lives. When we observe stars in the night sky with the
naked eye, we see a myriad of stars, their light having taken very many
years to reach us, but how many of the billions of stars are visible to us?
Our scientists will continue to discover the hidden stars in the future, just
as our stored emotions may be discovered or reprocessed years later. The
experience of crafting this art was profoundly therapeutic and meditative;
inevitably, I began to connect emotions from my past, present and projected
future. Although the crafting took months to create, I felt that I processed
emotions in a condensed period, more so than at any other point in my
life, producing an abundance of positive feelings and profound healings.
There were frequent emotions of pure solitude, radiation, harmony, inner
calm, and balanced intrinsic journeys, accompanied by emotions of
self-forgiveness and opportunities to process deeper emotions recalled
from my childhood. While the art was being created, I felt a strong sense of
continuation of the experience, processing and recalling many more emotions,
which not only paved the way for me to continue working on the art pieces but
also triggered my re-engagement in composing and recording my acoustic
music. I intend to continue exploring my personal journey and gain a deeper
understanding of the process and discoveries.
༺ broken hearts, and milliards of silent emotions ༻
by Jay Horan
Read more about the science behind the art piece: