Silent Light at Mussenden Temple

'Stained Moons' art installation by James Russell and Hannah Plumb at Downhill Demesne, Co. Londonderry

See the elusive and distant moon brought near this February as you embark on an after-dark experience at Mussenden Temple. Perched at the edge of a 120ft cliff overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean, the late 18th-century Temple exudes the presence of an observatory. Exposed yet protected, it's the perfect home for this stunning new light installation by artists James Russell and Hannah Plumb.

‘Stained Moons’ is an installation of light and shadow, evoking the eight phases of the moon. The images are found within the broken glass reclaimed from an abandoned and overgrown greenhouse. Stained glass. Stained by time. The artists have carefully chosen each panel for the intricate patterns of lichen and dirt. The formation of the image is realised through a dual process.  A selective and delicate removal of the patina leaves precisely formed spheres and crescents on the panels intact. In parallel, a constant reviewing, stacking and combining of the panels creates the image. The image of light and shadow, reflecting back to us from the Earth’s Moon. The artists have created a series of optical instruments with carefully calibrated lenses and mirrors to project the images onto delicate hanging screens. The elusive and distant moon is brought near.

Silent Light sees the artwork cloaked within the circular Mussenden Temple. The location is powerfully elemental, and the emphasis on silence – an evening of wordlessness – leaves space for a focus on the experiential. The viewings will take place in silence and in darkness, after twilight, for fourteen nights in February 2020. The first during the Full Moon on 9 February. The last on the New Moon on 23 February.

To offer an intimate experience, access will be choreographed via timed tickets. Please note that due to nights getting shorter, the time slots will differ slightly for the second week. To book tickets for this after-dark experience visit:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/downhill-demesne-and-hezlett-house/whats-on