Ignis Fatuus

WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery 
Cape Town

25 May 2017 - 01 July 2017
This site-specific installation was created for Swinney’s debut solo show Ignis Fatuus

The title was taken from a line in Emily Dickinson’s poem 1551 “Better an ignis fatuus/Than no illume at all”. This ignis fatuus or false fire is also referred to as will-’o-wisps in folklore, such as in Goethe’s fairytale The Green Snake and The Beautiful Lily. The tale is a parable about human freedom, and the unification of the soul through alchemical transformation. It uses will-o’-wisps, destructive and self-seeking sprites, to act as guides that connect the two worlds of the soul and the senses, unifying the conflicting sides of the self and ultimately the conflicting sides of society.


Ignis Fatuus is an immersive multi-media installation with 5 moving projections and a 5 point mix sound installation, which was made in collaboration with Warrick Sony. 




Ignis Fatuus, 2017.
Tracing paper, perspex mirror, styrofoam, painted silk plants, projectors, 5 point mix sound installation.
Site-specific installation.



Installation images 




Photography: Hayden Phipps