Stilled in the city by coloured light
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Citation:Rennie, J.J. (2013). Stilled in the City by Coloured Light. Screencity Journal. 2, 1-6
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2412
Does coloured light still have the power to silence us? In the current urban world of social media and 30-second sound bites, do we have any retreats from our “uba-paced” lifestyle? Is there time and are there places where we can pause and take stock? Church architecture of the medieval period made use of coloured, (stained), glass helped to create an atmosphere that religion claimed as appropriate to worship. With the decline of religion what is to be done with such spaces? 19.03.2011 would have marked the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Futuna Chapel, (in Wellington city’s suburb: Karori), New Zealand. Events however overtook the chapel, in 2000 the Fellowship of Brothers who had commissioned it, deconsecrated the chapel due to a falling membership. They sold the whole site to developers, and Futuna now finds itself surrounded by 90 housing units. “Te Friends of Futuna Charitable Trust” has since purchased Futuna and is currently raising funds to restore the building. However, the question remains: what use can a such restored building be put to, given that it is no longer a religious space? This paper explores the ideas of writers such as Maitland who “loves Silence;” Ehm and Löfgren who adore “doing nothing;” together with artists such as Turrell who works directly with light; colourist architects such as Barragan who sometimes detailed “paint on glass,” amongst others in an attempt to explore how coloured light might activate “being still” for a time in the city.