Recent Acquisitions

Stella Brennan - Rising Sun





Stella Brennan 
Rising Sun
2018
Diptych, laser cut merino felt, stainless steel
1160 x 830, 1170 x 730mm

The afterlife of technology forms a continuing part of my research. The Object Permanence
project is an attempt to think through the duration and materiality of nuclear technologies,
attempting to grasp half-lives that extend far into geological time.
The felt works from the project are based on medals awarded to Chernobyl Liquidators – the up
to half-million reservists, firefighters, nurses and others who worked to contain the 1987 nuclear
power plant meltdown in what is now Ukraine.
The Chernobyl Liquidator’s medal is a classic piece of late-Soviet design: a single drop of blood is
transected by an alpha particle, a beta particle and a gamma ray. So far three of these medals
have been awarded. The first, shortly after the disaster, one on on the twentieth and also on the
thirtieth anniversary. In a from of semantic drift, the text and imagery of the medals has subtly
shifted over the thirty years since the disaster began.
Corey Pavia worked with me on the programming and laser cutting of the medal imagery into
merino wool, which I needle-felted at the Textile Research Laboratory at AUT. Felt itself is one of
the oldest forms of textile, part of the folk tradition in Ukraine and beyond. Also felted into the
works are stainless steel fibres, normally used for making e-textiles.
My research for Object Permanence included firsthand accounts in the book Chernobyl Prayer, by
the Nobel Prize-winning journalist Svetlana Alexievich. One survivor talked about a blanket from
their home in the zone near the plant which was contaminated by a glowing particle that could not
be washed away.
Rising Sun is formed from the recombination of appliqué elements, a soft reworking of the
iconography of heroism, which has Constructivist results. The work’s title and form link the earlier
atomic accident at Chernobyl to the more recent Fukushima disaster.
The afterlife of technology forms a continuing part of my research. The Object Permanence
project is an attempt to think through the duration and materiality of nuclear technologies,
attempting to grasp half-lives that extend far into geological time.
The felt works from the project are based on medals awarded to Chernobyl Liquidators – the up
to half-million reservists, firefighters, nurses and others who worked to contain the 1987 nuclear
power plant meltdown in what is now Ukraine.
The Chernobyl Liquidator’s medal is a classic piece of late-Soviet design: a single drop of blood is
transected by an alpha particle, a beta particle and a gamma ray. So far three of these medals
have been awarded. The first, shortly after the disaster, one on on the twentieth and also on the
thirtieth anniversary. In a from of semantic drift, the text and imagery of the medals has subtly
shifted over the thirty years since the disaster began.
Corey Pavia worked with me on the programming and laser cutting of the medal imagery into
merino wool, which I needle-felted at the Textile Research Laboratory at AUT. Felt itself is one of
the oldest forms of textile, part of the folk tradition in Ukraine and beyond. Also felted into the
works are stainless steel fibres, normally used for making e-textiles.
My research for Object Permanence included firsthand accounts in the book Chernobyl Prayer, by
the Nobel Prize-winning journalist Svetlana Alexievich. One survivor talked about a blanket from
their home in the zone near the plant which was contaminated by a glowing particle that could not
be washed away.
Rising Sun is formed from the recombination of appliqué elements, a soft reworking of the
iconography of heroism, which has Constructivist results. The work’s title and form link the earlier
atomic accident at Chernobyl to the more recent Fukushima disaster.
The afterlife of technology forms a continuing part of my research. The Object Permanence
project is an attempt to think through the duration and materiality of nuclear technologies,
attempting to grasp half-lives that extend far into geological time.
The felt works from the project are based on medals awarded to Chernobyl Liquidators – the up
to half-million reservists, firefighters, nurses and others who worked to contain the 1987 nuclear
power plant meltdown in what is now Ukraine.
The Chernobyl Liquidator’s medal is a classic piece of late-Soviet design: a single drop of blood is
transected by an alpha particle, a beta particle and a gamma ray. So far three of these medals
have been awarded. The first, shortly after the disaster, one on on the twentieth and also on the
thirtieth anniversary. In a from of semantic drift, the text and imagery of the medals has subtly
shifted over the thirty years since the disaster began.
Corey Pavia worked with me on the programming and laser cutting of the medal imagery into
merino wool, which I needle-felted at the Textile Research Laboratory at AUT. Felt itself is one of
the oldest forms of textile, part of the folk tradition in Ukraine and beyond. Also felted into the
works are stainless steel fibres, normally used for making e-textiles.
My research for Object Permanence included firsthand accounts in the book Chernobyl Prayer, by
the Nobel Prize-winning journalist Svetlana Alexievich. One survivor talked about a blanket from
their home in the zone near the plant which was contaminated by a glowing particle that could not
be washed away.
Rising Sun is formed from the recombination of appliqué elements, a soft reworking of the
iconography of heroism, which has Constructivist results. The work’s title and form link the earlier
atomic accident at Chernobyl to the more recent Fukushima disaster.
The afterlife of technology forms a continuing part of my research. The Object Permanence
project is an attempt to think through the duration and materiality of nuclear technologies,
attempting to grasp half-lives that extend far into geological time.
The felt works from the project are based on medals awarded to Chernobyl Liquidators – the up
to half-million reservists, firefighters, nurses and others who worked to contain the 1987 nuclear
power plant meltdown in what is now Ukraine.
The Chernobyl Liquidator’s medal is a classic piece of late-Soviet design: a single drop of blood is
transected by an alpha particle, a beta particle and a gamma ray. So far three of these medals
have been awarded. The first, shortly after the disaster, one on on the twentieth and also on the
thirtieth anniversary. In a from of semantic drift, the text and imagery of the medals has subtly
shifted over the thirty years since the disaster began.
Corey Pavia worked with me on the programming and laser cutting of the medal imagery into
merino wool, which I needle-felted at the Textile Research Laboratory at AUT. Felt itself is one of
the oldest forms of textile, part of the folk tradition in Ukraine and beyond. Also felted into the
works are stainless steel fibres, normally used for making e-textiles.
My research for Object Permanence included firsthand accounts in the book Chernobyl Prayer, by
the Nobel Prize-winning journalist Svetlana Alexievich. One survivor talked about a blanket from
their home in the zone near the plant which was contaminated by a glowing particle that could not
be washed away.
Rising Sun is formed from the recombination of appliqué elements, a soft reworking of the
iconography of heroism, which has Constructivist results. The work’s title and form link the earlier
atomic accident at Chernobyl to the more recent Fukushima disaster.
Notes by the artist: 

The afterlife of technology forms a continuing part of my research. The Object Permanence
project is an attempt to think through the duration and materiality of nuclear technologies,
attempting to grasp half-lives that extend far into geological time.
The felt works from the project are based on medals awarded to Chernobyl Liquidators – the up
to half-million reservists, firefighters, nurses and others who worked to contain the 1987 nuclear
power plant meltdown in what is now Ukraine.
The Chernobyl Liquidator’s medal is a classic piece of late-Soviet design: a single drop of blood is
transected by an alpha particle, a beta particle and a gamma ray. So far three of these medals
have been awarded. The first, shortly after the disaster, one on on the twentieth and also on the
thirtieth anniversary. In a from of semantic drift, the text and imagery of the medals has subtly
shifted over the thirty years since the disaster began.
Corey Pavia worked with me on the programming and laser cutting of the medal imagery into
merino wool, which I needle-felted at the Textile Research Laboratory at AUT. Felt itself is one of
the oldest forms of textile, part of the folk tradition in Ukraine and beyond. Also felted into the
works are stainless steel fibres, normally used for making e-textiles.
My research for Object Permanence included firsthand accounts in the book Chernobyl Prayer, by
the Nobel Prize-winning journalist Svetlana Alexievich. One survivor talked about a blanket from
their home in the zone near the plant which was contaminated by a glowing particle that could not
be washed away.
Rising Sun is formed from the recombination of appliqué elements, a soft reworking of the
iconography of heroism, which has Constructivist results. The work’s title and form link the earlier
atomic accident at Chernobyl to the more recent Fukushima disaster.
The afterlife of technology forms a continuing part of my research. The Object Permanence
project is an attempt to think through the duration and materiality of nuclear technologies,
attempting to grasp half-lives that extend far into geological time.
The felt works from the project are based on medals awarded to Chernobyl Liquidators – the up
to half-million reservists, firefighters, nurses and others who worked to contain the 1987 nuclear
power plant meltdown in what is now Ukraine.
The Chernobyl Liquidator’s medal is a classic piece of late-Soviet design: a single drop of blood is
transected by an alpha particle, a beta particle and a gamma ray. So far three of these medals
have been awarded. The first, shortly after the disaster, one on on the twentieth and also on the
thirtieth anniversary. In a from of semantic drift, the text and imagery of the medals has subtly
shifted over the thirty years since the disaster began.
Corey Pavia worked with me on the programming and laser cutting of the medal imagery into
merino wool, which I needle-felted at the Textile Research Laboratory at AUT. Felt itself is one of
the oldest forms of textile, part of the folk tradition in Ukraine and beyond. Also felted into the
works are stainless steel fibres, normally used for making e-textiles.
My research for Object Permanence included firsthand accounts in the book Chernobyl Prayer, by
the Nobel Prize-winning journalist Svetlana Alexievich. One survivor talked about a blanket from
their home in the zone near the plant which was contaminated by a glowing particle that could not
be washed away.
Rising Sun is formed from the recombination of appliqué elements, a soft reworking of the
iconography of heroism, which has Constructivist results. The work’s title and form link the earlier
atomic accident at Chernobyl to the more recent Fukushima disaster.


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