Luminaries by Glithero 30.03.15

glithero luminaries 1

The designers have created an eerie lighting installation in an abandoned mine at the St-Etienne Biennale

In a forgotten room at a former St-Etienne mine, Glithero (designers Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren) used a play of light and reflections to ghostly effect.

At first glance, Luminaries appears as a series of simple neon halos suspended by imperceptible wires. Only when standing in front of each light does the picture complete. A piece of oval glass tilted forward at 45 degrees reflects the image of a second, hidden structure onto the halo, embellishing it with a cage of spiked lines.

Luminaries is a continuation of Fantoom, Glithero's installation for Biennale Interieur at Kortrijk last year, which used a similar apparition technique on historic exhibits. But here, the effect of the illusion is all the more magical and unsettling, set against the gloomy backdrop of the mine's dust-coated machinery – the mine has been left almost untouched since its last working day in 1973. The pair say the ethereal installation explores ideas of presence and absence, and immateriality in design.

The mine, now a museum, plays host to several other exhibitions and installations conceived for the city's design biennial. The event is known for looking beyond design to wider issues of culture, society and environment.

For a full report on the St-Etienne Biennale (on show until 12 April), see Icon's June issue

 

Words

Riya Patel

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The ethereal installation explores ideas of presence and absence, and immateriality in design

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