Exhibition & Events
case study

Title: Colonies, Luminale 2016
Client: [musson+retallick]

Applelec have collaborated with artists [musson+retallick] on ‘Colonies’, a light sculpture for the 2016 Lumainle event in Frankfurt.

Colour-changing LED Light Sheet was encased in printed acrylic to create the forms of a vast illuminated colony.

Part of the Light+Building exhibition, Luminale features up to 200 lighting events throughout Frankfurt which bridge the gap between the city and the exhibition centre. ‘Colonies’ was installed at the beautiful Nizza Park, which sits adjacent to the river Main in Frankfurt.

Neil Musson said: ‘For Luminale 2016, we created two related light sculptures which talk to each other in response to people’s movement within the proximity of the work. The forms are inspired by insect and plant life which cluster in colonies.’

Two colonies at different developmental stages exist within sight of each other but their relationship is intentionally unclear. Their identity is also ambiguous and the viewer experiences them both from a distance and at close range. The viewer is invited to move amongst the lit elements leading to discussions about the nature of the colony.

Each colony is a group of multiple lit forms which gather together around structures in the landscape. The forms in one colony radiate light from their textured surface which replicates the detail of plant and insect life. The second colony consists of metal forms which symbolise a cocoon stage in the development of a life-form.

Ian Drinkwater, Applelec managing director, said: ‘We are delighted to have been able to work with [musson+retallick] on their latest sculpture. One colony, positioned on the ground, was created in colour-changing LED Light Sheet which was encased in printed acrylic. The second colony, suspended within the branches of a tree, utilised our metal forming skills and was constructed in our fabrication workshop.’


Photography: Kate Miller