Beacon Launch: Lens 2

Created and performed by:
Daisy Orton & Pablo Pakula of Accidental Collective
Niamh Lynam-Cotter
Roanna Mitchell

Watch the Video here

Lens 2 was commissioned as part of the launch of the University of Kent’s Beacon Institute, and took place at Chatham’s Historic Dockyard on 26 September 2015.

Beacon Lighthouse Launch: Lens 2. Image: Kyla Wight.

Beacon Lighthouse Launch: Lens 2. Image: Kyla Wight.

Navigating the relationship between art and science is, perhaps, a matter of perspectives. Of distances, and angles. Of learning each others’ languages. Of reflecting, and being reflected upon.

Whilst thinking about this, in creating Lens 2 we also find ourselves confronted with the science and poetry of nautical navigation evoked by Chatham’s historic dockyards, as well as by the Beacon Institute’s name and ethos.

We are responding to these themes by focusing them through the lens of two specific texts: Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse, and the strikingly poetic instructions for the use of a sextant as a navigation instrument at sea.

In bringing the two texts together we find ourselves navigating distances, angles, languages of the word and of the body, and reflections in each other which, occasionally, illuminate. In all of this, we find joy in the humour of miscommunication, and pleasure in moments of shared imagination.

Now, day after, light turned, the traditional sextant’s half-horizon mirror divides the field of view in two.
On one side, there is a view of the horizon
(like a flower reflected in water),
on the other side a view of the celestial object
(its clear image like a bowl of red and yellow dahlias reflected on the wall).
Nothing stirred in the drawing room
or in the dining room
or on the staircase,
until the lower limb of the sun just touches
the horizon.


The Beacon Institute: Illuminating Arts and Science Research and Practice

B: Bridging Arts and Science

E: Educating new research practitioners

A: Activating Arts/Science collaborative research

C: Creating cutting-edge practice in real world contexts

O: Opening digital space for on line interactive technologies

N: Networking across the globe


The Beacon Institute is a collaboration between Kent’s Gulbenkian Theatre, Arts and Science academics across the University of Kent’s three Faculties, a developing network of national and international collaborators and a range of non-higher education partners, the Beacon Institute project realizes our ambition for a flagship organization to pioneer interdisciplinary creative arts practice and research. Projects associated with the proposed institute have the capacity to generate new interdisciplinary knowledge of how performance affects audiences and participants, to illuminate scientific processes through arts practices, to change lives through applied science and performance research, to engage new audiences, to enfranchise disadvantaged communities and to influence professional practice in arts, education and health contexts. The collaboration between arts and science, exemplified by the Beacon Institute’s projects also responds to the agendas of funders for the rigorous collection of qualitative and quantitative data that evidences and measures impact.