Thursday, 15 October 2009

In praise of shadows

This exhibition at the V&A included work by lighting designers who use low energy lighting and alternative energy sources. The title comes from the essay on aesthetics written by Junichiro Tanizaki. Cyclo by Marie-Virginie Berbet was an interesting idea that adapts the lighting conditions depending on the user’s activity levels. Fragile future by Drift was a beautiful combination of dandelion seed heads and small light bulbs that formed a wall decoration. Medusa by Mikko Paakkanen was also fascinating; made of fibre optic rods it expands and contracts, forming first a narrow cone and then a round ball of light. Sonumbra by Loop at the end of the exhibition provided a mesmerising spectacle as light in the electroluminescent wires of the sculpture followed their paths in a delicate lace design. Having helped Loop to learn about lacemaking for their first Sonumbra installation I was impressed at the intricacy of their latest version and how beautifully the light flowed through it.

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