Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has created an installation named Shadows Travelling on the Sea of the Day comprised of twenty circular structures.
Presented in collaboration with Qatar Museums, Shadows travelling on the sea of the day, consists of 20 mirrored circular shelters, three single rings and two double rings that are meticulously placed along the desert landscape at the Northern Heritage sites near Doha.
While the artwork is noticeably enticing from a distance, the real magic occurs when visitors are under the installation — where the mirror turns the focus back on the individual. As with much of Eliasson’s oeuvre, the new permanent installation implores visitors to re-sync with the planet.
“It is a kind of reality check of your connectedness to the ground,” Eliasson said in a statement. “You are at once standing firmly on the sand and hanging, head down, from a ground that is far above you. You will probably switch back and forth between a first-person perspective and a destabilizing, third-person point of view of yourself.”
The mirrors also reflect their semi-circular supports, completing them into perfect circles. The interconnected ceilings reflect an entanglement of landscape, sculptural elements, and visitors. The “Shadows Travelling on the Sea of the Day” celebrates everything that surrounds it, both the natural landscape and the cultural sphere.
According to Olafur Eliasson, the artwork can also be seen as a conduit for dialogue and for listening, while working as an outsider and as a European in a context like Qatar. He has expressed hope that creative collaborations such as this can provide “productive means for us to meet each other across communities and cultures, both now and in the longer term”. The artwork also aims to sensitize visitors to the beauty and complexity of the surrounding environment, and thus contribute to raising awareness regarding climate emergency.