William Smalley, Engineer SCOTT SMALLEY PARTNERSHIP PTY LTD
Luminous is an interactive light sculpture in five parts, each of which consists of a 2m diameter spherical form mounted on an 8m pole. The spherical structures are made from folded aluminium webs in a honeycomb arrangement that is evocative of a traditional Chinese paper lantern. At the core of each sphere is a set of 12 LED pixel tubes. Motion detectors on each pole provide stimulus to a control program running on a microcontroller - which calculates colour-wave responses to human movement. The work is illuminated nightly from 6pm and is permanently installed at Chinatown in Northbridge, Western Australia.
The brief called for a contemporary response to the idea of a traditional Chinese lantern. The resultant work was to act as an iconic place-marker for its location at the entrance to Chinatown in central Perth, Western Australia. The artwork sits either side and adjacent to the traditional Chinatown entrance archway, with which it contrasts in style while sharing a reference to traditional Chinese red colouring.
The artist hired his own engineer to certify the structural details of the sculpture.
“My reference was the movie Blade Runner and its futuristic Chinatown world, where overhead advertising blimps invite people to live off-world, my overhead spheres are also invitations to come and live on different planets.”
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