Neon light - Outsourcing (fragile)

fragile neon original small for web.jpg
fragile neon original small for web.jpg

Neon light - Outsourcing (fragile)


Outsourcing (fragile)

56.3 x 55.8 cm x 15cm.

Edition of 3.

Plugs into a normal 3 point plug socket. I recommend they are either hung on chains (supplied) or a block of wood sits within the frame (not supplied). The frames are hollow.

Neon (argon, mercury, glass, electrodes, cable, porcelain headed stands) on aluminium, acrylic and print in deep aluminium frame. Includes UK transformer. Please contact me regarding postage charges.

Original earth image (prior to editing, addition of text and baby scans) provided by NASA.

Fragile text


Meaning behind the name and the piece

The piece is about how we outsource our fragility across time (generations, as reflect by the scans) and geography (essentially people living in parts of the world benefiting at the expense of others). It is a commentary on inequality. The typed text on the background on the earth/in the sea reflects the benefits some of us experience. The handwritten text reflects some of the costs of those benefits/the implications for others (whether in the past or today). In space there are four words coming through the darkness, reflecting some of the key characteristics of human behaviour that I think could help to improve life for everyone, rather than just some people.

The final sentence is a take on a Francis Bacon (philosopher) quote. I turned the original quote “For the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present” around, as my point was that should it always be the case that people have to benefit at the expense of others? I changed it to “For the light to shine brightly, must the darkness always be present?”. I tried to show my answer to/opinion on this one by using such a bright neon light (actually argon). The warm white light is still very bright in daylight, it doesn’t need darkness for it to show up clearly. Perhaps it is not quite so bright as it looks at night, but it is still bright enough….many of us have enough, there is no need to be super rich etc when there are people in such poverty and awful conditions. I diamond dusted the prints (given they obviously do not light up) so that when the light catches the shards of glass, the word “fragile” is still really clear and visually impactful. 

History of the piece

I started this piece at the end of 2013/early 2014 when I did the neon word “fragile” (which I also stuck onto a full sized mannequin to make a different piece). I then started collecting baby scans to form the clouds, though didn’t really know how to do this (being self taught in Photoshop and still quite a beginner). My other pieces with written text backgrounds took over and I put this one on hold for a while. In 2017 I was asked to donate a piece to a charity auction raising money for a new orphanage for HIV positive children in Africa and this seemed like the perfect piece so I refocussed on the idea. I checked that no-one had ever used baby scans as clouds before (via a thorough internet search) and could not see anything anywhere so went ahead with it. The original earth photo was from NASA (permitted use as long as they are credited) which I then heavily edited.

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