Exploring light and air…creating responsive structures. This simple form shimmers in the breeze and projects colourful light patterns on the wall and on to the surrounding space. Each panel moves with the air and shifts in hue. I am imagining this on a large scale – exciting potential!!
Spent the weekend at Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens, Northumberland and had the opportunity to show some of my experiments with light responsive materials. Sunlight and breeze…fantastic effects as the materials moved and projected a play of ever-changing light and colour. Over 500 visitors yesterday and lots of interesting discussions and positive responses to the work.
This week I worked with engineer Ben Bridgens to test the responsiveness of the panels we created. When moisture was applied, the veneer panels which are laminated to fibreglass, could be seen to slowly move and curl. As they dried out, the panels returned to their original flat profile. When immersed in water the movement was more dramatic. We recorded this using timelapse photography. We found that the veneer applied to PETG was unresponsive under the same moist conditions. The fibre glass/veneer panels were scored using a scalpel. The movement of these pieces shows potential to create light filtering screens that respond to weather conditions.
This week we began work on hygromorphic structures. In the same way that a fir cone opens and closes to release seeds, these structures will move in damp conditions. I worked with Dr Ben Bridgens to create a series of experimental laminated panels, consisting of thin wood veneers bonded to a range of other substrates which will respond differently to moisture. Once bonded, these panels will be cut and shaped to create a series of kinetic forms. We will explore which materials work well together and produce our first responsive prototypes.