FLAWLESS–Ephemerality of Nature

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Client: Scottsdale Public Art

Location: Scottsdale, AZ, United States

Completion date: 2018

Project Team

Artist & Industrial Designer

Gonzalo Bascuñan

Studio ALEX — Architectural Light Experience

Public Art Agent

Jennifer Gill

Scottsdale Public Art

Other

i Light Marina Bay

Client

City of Scottsdale

Overview

“FLAWLESS” by Studio ALEX was a site-specific installation of more than 4,000 photoluminescent elm leaf forms cast from transparent resin and phosphorescent pigments. During the day, the pigments absorbed energy from the sunlight, giving them a bright green glow at night. Inhabiting an area measuring 4’ wide, 28’ long, and 15’ high, “FLAWLESS” was also illuminated at night with black lights to provide more intensified illumination. Individually hand-strung and suspended with steel cables on the Marshall Way Bridge, these “falling” leaves evoke a connection to the natural world. “FLAWLESS” was commissioned for the annual public art event Canal Convergence 2018.

Goals

Canal Convergence Water Art Light is a free public art event presented by Scottsdale Public Art at the Scottsdale Waterfront. Each year, Scottsdale Public Art seeks proposals for Canal Convergence that integrate the themes of water, art, and light into engaging, large-scale, temporary public art installations. “FLAWLESS” successfully activated all of these themes through its physical structure, using both natural sunlight and black light to create a unique luminous experience, and placement over the water on the Marshall Way Bridge, using the water’s reflection to show yet another viewing perspective. In addition to the three core themes of water, art, and light, Canal Convergence 2018 added a new theme: sustainability. “FLAWLESS” also embodied this theme thought its narrative, encouraging the appreciation of nature, which can only be preserved for the future through sustainability efforts we make today.

Process

Scottsdale Public Art and Studio ALEX collaborated over a period of several months to realize the “FLAWLESS” installation. Once the concept and design had been finalized and approved by a structural engineer, the installation of this artwork took place over six days. With each leaf sculpture being hand strung, the installation process was meticulous and time consuming. In order to accomplish the installation in time for the event, Scottsdale Public Art engaged the artists, event installation staff, and volunteers from the local community to hang the leaf sculptures. Once the full installation was suspended, the artists went back and spent several hours doing minor placement adjustments in order to create the effect of leaves caught in a gust of wind, frozen in time.

Additional Information

“FLAWLESS” by Studio ALEX was also featured at Singapore’s premiere light art festival, i Light Marina Bay, in 2018 as a part of a special collaboration between Canal Convergence and i Light Marina Bay. Studio ALEX — Architectural Light Experience is collaborative based in Amsterdam and Milan. The company comprises two artists and designers: Gonzalo Bascunan and Perrine Vichet.