Martin Firrell
Sun Not Despair (Schematic)
This artist's schematic was prepared about a year before the projections, exploring the dimensions and placement of text against the curvature of the dome of St Paul's.

The text
Sun Not Despair
appears in both English and Arabic in the final work. The inclusion of Arabic text was intended to be political and conciliatory: regardless of geo-politics, we all want to 'live in the light of the sun' rather than in the darkness of despair.

The Question Mark Inside was commissioned by Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral as the first large-scale public artwork in the cathedral's history. It marked the 300th anniversary of the topping-out of Sir Christopher Wren's architectural masterpiece in 2008.

The work posed the simple question, 'What makes life meaningful and purposeful?' and invited responses from the public during the anniversary year.

In addition, the artist investigated belief, non-belief and the politics of both positions in conversation with the clery at St Paul's, novelist Howard Jacobson, humanist philosopher A C Grayling and columnist Caitlin Moran.

The resulting texts, from the domestic to the sexual to the sublime, were projected onto the exterior of the cathedral dome, the West Front at Ludgate Hill, and the interior of the Whispering Gallery.
Part Of
The Question Mark Inside
St Paul's Cathedral London UK, 8 to 15 Nov 2008
Hi-res image
Public Artist in Residence
St Paul's Cathedral