Voyages, a site-specific installation, was created for the
museum space. It leads the viewer on a sensory and psychological
journey. The experience measured time, triggered memory, and
provoked an unconscious as well as conscious response to the
atmosphere of the space. I asked the viewer to look, feel
and think, to enter into my world and find their own.
You enter the installation between the columns of the Lounge
area. This becomes the gray "Waiting Room," for
you cannot proceed through to the brightly lit rotunda because
your way is barred by a large pair of portcullis-like "Lock
Gates" at the entrance. This heavy grid, covered with
weathered, salt-encrusted lead, frames a sheer steel screen
that you can see through as if in a dream, a haze of overlapping
Because this route is blocked the participants wander in
the waiting room, walking past reflected fragments of themselves
in the corners edged with mirror, and come upon the open doorways.
As one moves towards the entrance one glimpses ones
reflection in the fine line of mirror acting as a frame of
light to delineate the entrance to another zone.
On the right, the luminous silver wedge-shaped door flanks
the entrance to the brightly lit octagonal room. You walk
over a weathered cedar bridge that crosses a white moat of
rushing water circulating around the perimeter of the octagon.
Light streams into the room from a silver window of concentric
octagonal frames. Extroverts and performers playfully walk
across the stones watching their shadows obscure the reflected
light patterns from the water and orchestrating the level
of sound from their footsteps. Others, aware of the space
they take up in the brightness of light and sound, prefer
to be motionless, sensing it as a place for contemplation.
Upon leaving the light room one can look across to the wrought
copper door of the darker room. You walk over the lead threshold
onto red lava. As ones eyes adjust and one walks towards
the burnt well full of red earth, the green edge of glass
forms octagonal barriers increasing in height from center
to rim, like ripples expanding from the center drop. The sense
of infinity is seen in the reflections in the black octagonal
sides. During the course of the installation waterdrops, like
liquid fire, count the passage of time. People sometimes felt
threatened as they entered, but then were filled with a sense
of warmth and comfort as they watched the ripples and reflections
on the ceiling and glimpsed the water dropping like falling
"...her success comes from the power of suggestion.
The whole, which it takes us time to appreciate, is far more
than the sum of the parts. These Voyages require contemplation
and speculation; each of us must provide our own words and
music, and for each they will be different but they will come...
...what Murch has actually made can be classified as sculpture,
but really this is poetry in four dimensions..."
David H. Wright in the Berkeley Monthly