Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cloud of bats

At dusk, Sydney’s Fruit Bats create a cloud of black winged creatures as they migrate across the city; they are one of the last indigenous creatures left in the heart of the C.B.D.

Ben Baxter, Trent Middleton and I collaborated on " A Cloud of Bats" , an outdoor lighting installation for the Lightwalk - a walk of 25 lighting installations that went from the Opera House around to the historic area of the Rocks on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour. Our installation evoked memories of the nightly bat migration that has existed in areas of Australia for thousands of years, while the sandstone reminds us of the amazing natural landscape on which Sydney exists.

Our fruit bats are now a vulnerable species but they can be legally shot for eating fruit from orchards. The use of proper orchard netting would make this killing unnecessary but netting can be costly and time consuming to install.

Our installation used this orchard netting to support our bat cloud as it flies up to Observatory Hill to feed on the fig trees. We use the colours of sunset ( created from Colourblast LED's) to wash across the magnificent sandstone wall to act as a fitting backdrop for these creatures of the night as they farewell the day.

I found working with Ben (artist/ designer) and Trent (architect) to be very enjoyable. Thanks to our lighting supplier Rick Cale from Xenian, structural engineer Harry Partridge and riggers Jeremy and Lea. Thanks to the Smartlight people for assistance and to all the people who visited the bats and gave us some great feedback. Photography by Sarah Smith.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Isis - part of the Sydney Smartlight festival

Because a single candle creates a very small amount of light, our forebears became quite ingenious at methods of utilising candlelight to light interiors. In the 18th century in particular, candles were mounted in magnificent candelabra and chandeliers which amplified the light through lead crystal drops cut into prismatic shapes. These designs were based on the principles of reflection, refraction and diffusion which were first written about by Newton and Huygens around 1690.

This work is an exploration of the nature of the light from LED’s and it’s potential usage in lighting works. LED’s are considered the future of lighting due to their energy efficiency and longevity and are the focus of my ongoing research. I am using the organic form of the Isis sea fan as a motif as a connection between technology and natural forms.