Architectural artists Lauren Sagar and Sharon Campbell from Manchester, England are specialists in large-scale glass installations. They create outstanding masterpieces for public spaces, where their art becomes a part of people’s everyday lives. The duo’s most recent project, The Chandelier of Lost Earrings, is not just for viewing by the public, but actually makes them a fundamental part of the piece.
Sagar and Campbell created The Chandelier of Lost Earrings with 3,500 single earrings, which were donated by those who had lost the other earring of the pair. The earrings collected span several generations; women donating items from their grandmothers as well as their daughters. Many of the donated earrings were accompanied with personal stories and memories that have become a part of the legacy of the finished piece.
“We wanted to gather together the lost and lonely earrings along with the stories of their owners into one beautiful sculpture,” the artists explained. The finished piece is displayed inside a glass house, which Sagar and Campbell created on the grounds of St. Mary’s Maternity Hospital in Manchester.
“This project emerged from our long-term engagement with the staff at St. Mary’s. Having completed our commission there, we decided to install mini ‘pop-up’ exhibitions inside the structure. We were looked upon by staff and patients; a bit like being in a fish bowl! We chatted to people and found out that they were interested in what we were doing. We wanted to create something FOR them, with them in mind; something they could participate in. We dedicate it to them, to the mothers who have delivered at the hospital and to everyone who has cared for them.”
The Chandelier of Lost Earrings transcends what’s expected when one thinks about a public art installation. Lauren and Sharon have brought together their community, giving it an identity beyond names and faces. We just LOVE it!
The Chandelier of Lost Earrings project was supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Photos by Helen Kitchen of Lime Arts, Manchester.