Gwendolyn Terry’s murmuration installation for “I Was Born for This”

Commissioned by the University of Notre Dame under a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and inspired by visual impressions from the life of Joan of Arc, Gwendolyn Terry’s installation, “I Was Born For This,” is over 18 feet high and features more than a thousand feathers suspended on string and layered in dimensional waves that echo the murmuration patterns of bird masses in flight. These suspended feathers swirl around a cedar tree, which is severed into five segments and hanging in the center.

“I Was Born for This” was commissioned as an original piece to be the third in a series of “nested” works of art depicting elements from the life and trial of Joan of Arc to be presented at the University of Notre Dame – C.T. Dreyer’s classic film The Passion of Joan of Arc, which itself inspired American composer Richard Einhorn to create Voices of Light, his oratorio for solo voices, chorus and orchestra, were the other works.


Gwendolyn Terry’s original design sketches and notes for the murmuration installation

The art installation by Gwendolyn Terry abstracted images and ideas from Joan’s life and and placed them in an immersive space, where the audience could spend a moment of reflection before or after viewing the film and hearing the live oratorio.

The three nested works–film, oratorio, and art installation–were presented at the University of Notre Dame from April 4-6, 2014.

  photo 4  photo 5