Scotiabank Nuit Blanche: Through a Glass Darkly

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On October 3, St. Thomas's participates in Scotiabank Nuit Blanche from sunset to sunrise. This year our theme is Through a Glass Darkly, a celebration of our exploration of the Universe. Its grandeur is humbling from our simple human perspective. Telescopes and microscopes uncover the complexity of the micro- and macro- cosmos. The year 2009 marks 400 years since Galileo's discoveries through the telescope, which transformed not only scientific worldviews but also our human context in the Universe.

Art created for Through a Glass Darkly celebrates Galileo's work and the subsequent discoveries he spawned, while reminding us that despite technological advances, our knowledge of the Universe is still limited. This collaborative exhibition questions how our construction of knowledge impacts humanity, society and the individual.

Come join this unique collaboration between visual artists, scientists, historians, musicians and performance artists.

  • Family friendly
  • Coffee served all night
  • Telescopes outside the church, hosted by members of the University of Toronto's Department of Astronomy

People's Choice: Vote for Through a Glass Darkly as your favourite art project and you could win an art-inspired weekend for two. For details, click here.

Pollen Study by Charlotte Mikolajewski

St Thomas's Anglican Church gratefully acknowledges support from the Anglican Foundation's Sacred Arts Trust for Through a Glass Darkly scotiabank nuit blanche 09.

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is a signature event produced by the City of Toronto.


Strahan Beatty triptych ceiling projection, photography

Tara Downs The Big Bang: ceiling projection and sound installation

John Dubinski GRAVITAS: Portraits of a Universe in Motion - computer model projection

GRAVITAS is a visual and musical celebration of the beauty in a dynamic 

universe driven by gravity. Animations from supercomputer simulations of forming 

galaxies, star clusters, galaxy clusters and galaxy interactions are presented as moving 

portraits of cosmic evolution.

Robin Kingsburgh Four Cornerstones: acrylic paintings

Galileo's telescopic observations of the Moon, the Sun, Jupiter and Venus were fundamental in 

changing the scientific worldview. His observations revealed that these bodies were not perfect 

spherical orbs moving around the Earth, but were imperfect, moving around the Sun. 

Portraits of these 4 celestial objects have been painted as an homage to the role that they played in 

transforming the nature of our understanding of the Universe.

Robin Kingsburgh, John Dubinski, Emanuel Istrate Through a Glass Darkly - hologram installation

Juxtaposed holograms of galaxies merging and cells dividing reveal similarities of form 

and structure through scale. The act of observing the hologram places a reflected image of the 

viewer and establishes a relationship between the human scale and scales of the macro- and 


Ian Mackay Messier Remix: archival installation, projection and performance

Charlotte Mikolajewski silk screens

Charlotte Mikolajewski resin paintings

Tibi Tibi Neuspiel interactive telescope installation 

Lighting by Aaron Bernstein

Sidewalk Astronomers: Department of Astronomy, University of Toronto

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE (subject to change)

Click on artists highlighted in colour to see their websites

7:00 pm Introductions

Messier Remix/Rameau In Convertendo: Choeur: Sans Lenteur "Euntes ibant et flebant"

Artist statement: Ian Mackay (archival installation, projection and performance)

7:30 pm Cantores Fabularum chamber choir

8:15 pm Artist statement: Charlotte Mikolajewski (silk screens, resin paintings)

8:25 pm Schola Magdalenafive-voice female vocal ensemble

Gregorian chant, Hildegard von Bingen, premiere of Missa "Faciem ad Faciem" by 

Stephanie Martin

9:10 pm The Larkin Singers

9:40 pm Windermere String Quartet - Geoffrey Palmer's String Quartet #4

10:10 pm Artist statements: Robin Kingsburgh, John Dubinski & Emanuel Istrate Through a 

Glass Darkly (hologram installation)

Messier Remix/Rameau

10:30 pm Sonore Percussion Trio

10:50 pm Sloth Brain - electronic improvisation

11:20 pm Randall Rosenfeld - Dramatic reading of selections from the letters to 

Galileo from his eldest daughter, the Poor Clare nun Maria Celeste

11:50 pm Artist statements: Tibi Tibi Neuspiel (telescope installation), Tara Downs 

(The Big Bang: ceiling projection and sound installation)

Messier Remix/Rameau

12:00 am John Huston

12:15 am Sonore Percussion Trio

12:30 am Alison Melville,baroque flute, and friends

1:10 am Artist statement: Strahan Beatty (triptych ceiling projection, photography)

1:20 am Nadina Jackson and Larry Beckwith - music of Telemann

2:20 am Super Flammable Babylonians - Choral works by Elmer Iseler, Randall Thompson, 

Thomas Tallis, Keith Bissell and more

2:50 am Sloth Brain - electronic improvisation

3:20 am John Huston

3:40 am Artist statements

4:00 am Messier Remix/Rameau

4:15 am Sloth Brain - electronic improvisation

5:00 am John Huston

5:30 am Playing it by ear...