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Lumières - The Play of Brilliants

Issue 84 April / May 2015

Lumières - The Play of Brilliants is an immersive light show from Light Collective. On display at the Eléphant Paname in Paris, it aims to surprise, amaze and move visitors.

Lumières - The Play of Brilliants is an immersive light show and the latest project from Light Collective, supported by Concord. The unique three-month exhibition experience is on display this spring at Eléphant Paname, an avant-garde dance and arts centre in Paris.

Running until 31 May 2015, Lumières - The Play of Brilliants is an original exhibition curated by Sharon Stammers and Martin Lupton of Light Collective, which brings together a collection of thought-provoking and dazzling artworks by ten internationally-acclaimed artists working with light. 

Each piece has been selected to relate to the space in which it is located. The artworks have been carefully selected, with creative consideration for how each one relates to the others. The exhibition comprises artworks to gaze at, artworks to experience, and artworks to interact with. Given the eclectic mix of artistic approaches that have been adopted for the exhibition, Light Collective has curated an opportunity for every visitor to be surprised, amazed or moved. 

Explaining the philosophy behind this latest initiative, Stammers said: “It is the fantastical element of light; the part that enchants, excites and charms us that will be explored in this exhibition. The installations have been crafted by international artists, designers, architects and engineers who aim to tap into visitors’ imagination and curiosity.”

This highly-sensory and emotional exhibition pushes the boundaries between art, design, architecture, science, technology and industry; throwing into stark focus the astonishing capabilities and importance of light in the 21st century. Lumières - The Play of Brilliants differs from other light art exhibitions because the artworks occupy a location which is evocative in itself; a real architectural space and not a traditional white-walled gallery or a blacked-out room. Eléphant Paname is steeped in history having been erected under the reign of Napoleon III, and embodies several architectural feats of the époque. It provides the perfect backdrop for this unique exhibition. 

Florence Chollet, Secretary-General at Eléphant Paname said: “We’ve crafted a show which will not only demonstrate the basic physics of light (such as refraction and diffusion), but will also push boundaries and explore how light can be a source of information. The eleven installations work perfectly within the space at Eléphant Paname and each take visitors on an emotional experience, allowing them to discover light’s fascinating characteristics.”

The ‘play of brilliants’ theme weaves its way through the exhibition, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the different properties of light; those which create dynamism, life and atmosphere in our world. The artists and designers explore the interplay of light and space, form, surface, texture, colour, shadow, darkness and human interaction through a series of mesmerising artworks. They demonstrate how light does more than merely surround us; it has a spiritual quality and no matter who we are, it can create a memorable and personal experience for all of us. 

Architectural lighting specialist, Concord by Havells Sylvania is the official sponsor of Lumieres - The Play of Brilliants. This is the second time the company has worked with Light Collective – continuing its involvement with cutting edge lighting artworks as seen in the One Beam of Light initiative at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, in London, in 2013. The company is also a Gold sponsor of the UNESCO International Year of Light initiative which explores and celebrates the importance of light and optical technologies.

Concord has also lit the gallery itself with a lighting scheme designed by Temeloy. Tiphaine Treins, founder of Temeloy, described the fascination with light:  “Light can infuse your spaces with a multidimensionality that is felt, but almost impossible to adequately describe. Your eyes are seeing more than your mind can grasp. Thinking stops, you become captivated. Even though you know you are in a finite space, there seems to be an incomprehensible vastness. The ordinary has become the extraordinary.”

Speaking as the exhibition opened, Dave Warburton, Strategic Business Manager at Concord Lighting said: “This show is truly extraordinary. As a Gold sponsor of the 2015 global initiative, we want to share expertise and help grow society’s understanding of light and its capabilities. This exhibition will provoke many conversations around the subject which is extremely exciting, and we’re so pleased to be part of it.”


Pics: Emmanuel Donny

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