Installation in Grace Cathedral
Grace Cathedral—the episcopal church atop Nob Hill, famed for its labyrinths, Gothic grandeur, soaring ceilings, and gargoyles. But starting in October, public art group Illuminate SF will juice its appeal with a new light-and-sound art installation by artist George Zisiadis, with an original score composed by Gabriel Gold.
The work, titled Grace Light, will be free to the public. Zisiadis describes new piece in glowing terms: “Visitors look upward through a slight atmospheric haze and are enveloped in a 100-foot-tall shifting curtain of light. Visitors will lie down within the labyrinth or to stand just outside the light curtains and experience a 15-minute journey of synchronized light and sound.”
The artist hopes to “create a space for contemplation, self-discovery, and healing.”
To create the intended effect, Zisiadis employs a “30k-lumen projector”. 30,000 lumens equivalent to about 187 100-watt light bulbs, or about 15 times the power of a standard indoor projector.
Illuminate SF is the same arts group behind the Bay Lights installation on the Bay Bridge, so this seems a natural development at another San Francisco landmark.
SF composer Gabriel Gold created the audio portion of Grace Light. Gold describes his work as “site-specific to acoustically resonant and ‘sacred spaces,’” which “[merges] the worlds of classical and modern composition with traditions of sacred music.”
When it was first built in 1849, Grace Cathedral started out as “Grace Church,” the first of several houses of worship to bear the “Grace” name in the neighborhood.
After the 1906 earthquake destroyed the previous cathedral, the current building, designed by George Bodley, took decades to complete.
In 1911, the San Francisco Call dubbed the new Grace Cathedral “the most imposing church in the west” and compared it to the Parthenon in Athens.