out and about :: light show

Katie | March 18, 2013

LEO VILLAREAL CYLINDER II 2012 Hayward Gallery Light Show

I went along to Light Show at the Hayward on London’s Southbank last weekend; the first UK exhibition dedicated to light-based art. It included recent work, and older, rarely seen pieces that had been recreated specifically for this exhibition.

CARLOS CRUZ-DIEZ Chromosaturation 1965-2013 Hayward Gallery Light Show

The space above, created by Carlos Cruz-Diez and entitled Chromosaturation, was entirely white – the colours were created solely though the use of light – it was quite incredible to walk though.

JIM CAMPBELL Exploded View Light Show Hayward Gallery

From certain angles you could see the shadows of people walking through Jim Campbell’s installation above. From other angles it just looked like twinkly fairy lights – it demonstrated quite neatly the different experiences we can have of something simply by looking at it from different viewpoints.

DAVID BATCHELOR Magic Hour 2004, 2007 Hayward Gallery Light Show

I loved David Batchelor’s Magic Hour, which collated ‘found’ advertising lightboxes with the messages or images removed to create a kaleidoscope of colours on the wall behind it – I desperately wanted the much prettier view from the other side though!


Superstructure by Cerith Wyn Evans (above) slowly faded and grew light again, giving off an incredible amount of heat – it was quite mesmerising to watch – almost like watching an open fire. I think there is something instinctual that draws us humans towards heat and light sources.

BRIGITTE KOWANZ Light Steps 1990 Hayward Gallery Light Show

Brigitte Kowanz’s Light Steps is brilliantly suggestive of the form whilst physically representing only a tiny part of the detail – you almost felt you could walk up them, particularly from the front on view. Strangely from other angles, they didn’t look like steps at all.

ANTHON  MCCALL You and I Horizontal 2005 Hayward Gallery Light Show

One of the things that struck me as I walked around, was the variety and diversity of effects that light can create – being more of a design geek than an art nerd, I would love to see how some of these could be applied within commercial and domestic interior design spaces, especially given the effect on mood and wellbeing we now know light can have.

Light Show is at the Hayward Gallery until the 28 April 2013.

Further reading for the especially geeky:

With thanks to the Hayward Gallery for photographs by Linda Nylind: Leo Villareal, Cylinder II (2012), ©the artist, Courtesy the artist and GERING & LóPEZ GALLERY, NY; Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation (1965-2013), ©the artist/DACS, Cruz-Diez Foundation; Jim Campbell, Exploded View (Commuters) (2011), ©the artist, Courtesy Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York and studio of Jim Campbell; David Batchelor, Magic Hour (2004-2007), ©the artist/DACS, Courtesy the artist and Galeria Leme, São Paulo, Cerith Wyn Evans, S=U=P=E=R=S=T=R=U=C=T=U=R=E (‘Trace me back to some loud, shallow, chill, underlying motive’s overspill…’) (2010), ©the artist, Courtesy the artist and White Cube; Brigitte Kowanz, Light Steps (1990-2013), ©the artist, The artist, courtesy Häusler Contemporary, München/Zürich; Galerie Krobath, Wien/Berlin; Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg; Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York; Anthony McCall, You and I, Horizontal (2005), ©the artist, Courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers Berlin London. 

Further Reading for the Especially Geeky ::

Founding Editor – Katie Treggiden

Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.

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