Using ground-breaking LED technology from SGM, an interactive light commission entitled IN LIGHT: Illuminating Capability Brown’s Landscape, was created by light artist Laurent Louyer from Creatmosphere.
In November 2016, various celebratory events took place in 120 different parks and sights all across the UK. This was to mark the 300th anniversary of renowned British Landscape Architect, Capability Brown, a historically important figure known as “England’s greatest gardener.” Many of his more than 170 park designs still exist today. Amongst these is Compton Verney, which also houses an independent national art gallery.
Compton Verney celebrated Capability’s legacy and brought it to life through a light ‘spectacular’. The curator from Compton Verney, Penelope Sexton, had the idea that it would be great to do something outside on the grounds using light as a medium. She got in touch with Laurent Louyer and asked him to carry out the job. Louyer said about the assignment:
“I had the simple brief to ‘respond to the Capability Brown’s landscape’. So basically, I had creative carte blanche - which is a dream come through as an artist. I found the trees, water and architectural elements to be the crucial cornerstones of the garden, so I put them in focus. My aim was to get people to play and engage, but also to educate them about the landscape and architecture. One of the installations was an interactive display where people could paint trees and architecture with light and colors.”
For the interactive installation, he used twenty five pcs. of P-5 wash lights and five pcs. of Q-7 flood/blind/strobes from SGM as giant brushes for people to “paint” trees and buildings. They were all controlled wirelessly via touch screens booths placed at key viewpoints.
Additionally, seven pcs. of G-Profile moving heads from SGM were programmed to effectively scan the landscape. They were located at very specific locations within the park where Louyer wanted to highlight specific parts of the visual landscape, adding another layer of discovery to the space. They were programmed to be out of sync, which ensured a dynamic, non-repetitive experience with varying sequences. It invited visitors to play with time, space and motion within their surroundings as they were not constrained to a specific timeline. It also encouraged them to discover specific viewpoints.
Reflecting on the use of SGM fixtures for the installation, Louyer said:
“It’s the first time, I’ve SGM fixtures in my projects. First and foremost, I picked them because of their great lighting performance. As it was an outdoor installation, a high IP-rating (IP65) was also crucial. Compton Verney is potentially interested in making the installation permanent, so I had to think of a durable solution from the very beginning. The strong architectural fixtures from SGM were therefore an obvious choice. All in all, I could tick off a lot boxes, going with SGM.”
An important theme of the installation was sustainable lighting. There were organised workshops at the site discussing how to limit the power consumption and how generate power in a sustainable way. The light installation itself was also totally aligned with this theme, using the LED fixtures from SGM and 1,000 solar jars on the lawn.
Laurent Louyer had the ambition have the kids to get more involved and especially the interactive elements had a big appeal to that segment. Normally, it is very difficult to get families to travel to the remote location, but with more than 8,000 new visitors during the event, the light installation certainly succeeded in attracting a new young family audience. The light installation even got news coverage from BBC.
Photographer: Jamie Woodley