Artist Michael Skura had been working with hand-blown glass for more than a decade when one day a single beam of light passing through a piece of glass in his studio caught his eye. The effect was both magical and subtle, inspiring him to explore the possibilities of light and glass through controlled illumination and projection.
Just over five years later Skura and collaborators AJ Freysteinson, Creative Director at RabCup, and Meghan Athavale, CEO of LUMOplay, are using 19 Epson® LightScene® accent lighting and three PowerLite® L615U laser projectors to illuminate an interactive light art exhibit that is responsive to movement and sound. The exhibit, entitled “Tendrils,” is currently running at the Riverside Art Museum, in conjunction with The Festival of Lights, in Riverside, California.
“From a single beam of light playing on a piece of glass, to the complex effects created by video and color, this has been a fascinating process of discovery and invention”, said Skura. “Light has become the central focus of my work. The possibilities to recreate and amplify light are greatly expanded with Epson laser solutions. The projectors provide intriguing lighting phenomena and prismatic color separations without aesthetically taking over the exhibit.”
The installations that comprise “Tendrils” are designed to push the boundaries of materials and technologies and celebrate the essence and creative expression of the materials. Instead of fighting the natural inclinations of molten glass which many glass artists see as defects, Skura “coaches” glass to have a mind of its own, asserting itself through distortions, bubbles, debris, and stress marks. Lighting, interactive technology and gaming technology are integral to crafting responsive sculptures that change and flow with the movements of passersby, encouraging visitors to slow down, observe, and embrace a mindful, meditative and receptive state.
Blending technology with artistic vision, the installation required sophisticated methods to amplify the interactive effect of the light on the glass elements. Skura employed more than 20 Epson laser projectors to illuminate the art pieces, rigging them discretely throughout the exhibit. He worked closely with Freysteinson on content creation, design and production, and with Athavale to coordinate content across all projectors, creating the interactive aspects for each piece using LUMOplay interactive display software.