"Light Sculptures" Kate Thomson

December 8, 2001

place Morioka Crystal Gallery, Iwate, Japan
date 9th. - 29th.December, 2001

Light has always been important in my work, particularly the large scale outdoor sculptures where the way natural light articulates the form is a crucial concern from design to completion. Realising that the variety of colours of natural light in different times of day, seasons, and countries, changed the perception of the form I decided to experiment with coloured and changing light. In this exhibition I am using sculpture to articulate light with hand carved and polished marble sculptures housing the latest technological development in diode colour kinetic lighting, which allows me to control the gradation of subtle hues through the full spectrum, and cross fade from one particular chosen colour to another. The lustrous quality of the marble radiates the light through and around its form, while the colour and direction of the ambient light adds to the dimensions of the vivid yet subtle variation of the colour kinetics.

My fascination for light is strongly influenced by living in the countryside of north Japan where the seasonal solar, lunar and stellar cycles are a very dramatic and beautiful part of our environment. Four of the seven pillars of light in the exhibition ("The Longest Night", "Spring Equinox", "The Longest Day", & "Autumn Equinox") represent the four seasons, and the installation as a whole suggests the weekly, monthly and annual cycles which have fascinated man since the beginning of civilisation (with titles like "Moon Dance"), at the same time as highlighting the concept that all cultures have illuminating insight to offer (most clearly expressed in "The Book of Light"). Human fascination with (and folly in the face of) these natural phenomena is expressed in "Icarus"

The concept of the exhibition is that light represents ideas and inspiration and the passing of time, electric light symbolises modern energy, stone represents permanence and tradition, different lighting highlights different perceptions, while the movement of changing light anticipates the continuing evolution of civilisation through the mutual understanding and appreciation of different cultures.

Although the exhibition is designed as one installation each piece is carefully worked in Italian marble to create an elegant individual sculpture. In daylight the sculptures catch the ambient natural light and reflect it through the shape to animate the internal and external movement of the form, allowing the sculpture to act as a sensor for the daily variations in light and respond to them. In electric light the interior space becomes the main focus of attention, inviting closer exploration of the distant source.
KT December 2001