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:

The James Webb Telescope