Chris Levine transforms Houghton Hall for winter commission

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Chris Levine transforms Houghton Hall for winter commission
Chris Levine, 528 Hz Love Frequency at Houghton Hall, Installation view, 2021, Courtesy the artist, Pete Huggins.

KING’S LYNN.- British artist Chris Levine unveiled a new body of site specific-works created for the inaugural Autumn Winter exhibition at Houghton Hall, Norfolk. ‘528 Hz Love Frequency’ (22 October - 23 December 2021) is a major solo presentation that transforms and illuminates unique environs of the house and grounds. The centrepiece of the exhibition is Molecule of Light, a new six tonne monumental sculpture 25m in height, which comes to life as darkness falls, projecting light and 3D ambisonic soundscape across an imposing landscape. The exhibition also includes a series of new holographic artworks, prints and immersive laser and LED installations. Each distinctive work is characteristic of Levine’s unique and cutting-edge creations, which harness the immersive properties of light and sound.

The artist describes his practice as using light and geometry to create a space where consciousness and the physical realm overlap. Working in pursuit of an expanded state of perception and awareness through image and form, frequency and vibration, he creates installations that invite the viewer to be present, in the moment. Levine harnesses the power of light not just as medium to create his artworks but also as a means with which to create powerful collective experiences.

Molecule of Light harnesses natural light by day and at night it becomes the centre of an immersive field of laser light forms. The high-powered lasers are precisely calibrated with the rotation of the earth, and by using the geometry and configuration of the architecture and natural topography of the Hall, the artist aims to draw the audience into a meditative state. Levine has collaborated with sound designer Marco Perry (Bjork) on the audio composition to produce a harmony of light and sound.

Levine is renowned for producing light portraits of notable cultural figures, most famously his depiction of the Queen, Lightness of Being (2012) – which was described by the National Portrait Gallery as ‘the most evocative image of a Royal by any artist’. Along with his celebrated royal portrait, his iconic images of Banksy, Kate Moss and Grace Jones, amongst others, will be shown in the South Wing gallery.

On the major solo exhibition and his Houghton debut, Levine said: ‘It’s a great honour to be showing at Houghton. All my endeavours to create work that is truly experiential and transformative have brought me to this defining moment. I’ve always sought to create art that draws the viewer to stillness and into a meditative expansive state. The more the work can be accessed through the heart and not needing to be mentally processed allows for a deeper sensory experience and something that moves us emotionally and with a positive impact on our physiological state.

Lord Cholmondeley of Houghton Hall said: “This is our first Autumn/Winter show at Houghton, and it is exciting to be showing Chris Levine’s mesmeric laser art in the grounds, as well as a selection of his iconic light portraits.”

Since 2013, Houghton Hall has become a must-see destination for contemporary art and sculpture. The Grade I-listed house was commissioned by the de facto first British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, in 1722. Following in the footsteps of acclaimed artists such as Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor and Henry Moore, Levine will be the seventh artist to hold a major show at the grand historic setting – one that promises to offer a fresh and expansive context to his ground-breaking art.

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