Tuesday, 31 March 2015

In Another Light

Light and Darkness at Croft Castle

It has been a busy winter for Meadow Arts with light art exhibition In Another Light happening on selected weekends at the National Trust's Croft Castle and Parkland.

David Ogle, Through the Trees. Meadow Arts commission 2014.
The exhibition brought new challenges for us and our partner venue: never assume that technology, no matter how simple it seems, will be straightforward! We are used to dealing with outdoor artworks and there are always difficulties to be overcome with regards to siting works, making them safe for visitors and minimising the risk of damage to the artworks themselves. In historic settings, there are sometimes restrictions on digging into the ground as there may be things of archaeological interest beneath.

When it comes to having an outdoor electricity supply linked to artworks, things can get a little tricky. While we were working on the Shakti exhibition, artist Harminder Judge created a shack inspired by similar temporary buildings to those used in India to show films in the past. For this we needed cables which stretched a considerable distance across the 'Pleasure Grounds' of Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, to power the projector that showed the film. There were concerns about the distance that the cable needed to travel that needed to be overcome, and the whole thing had to be safe for members of the public and staff.

For In Another Light, the outdoor art installations required electricity, so even more cabling was required. As things were to be outdoors from November until March, everything had to be robust and watertight. There are variable weather conditions in the average British winter!

Mark Richards, Untitled 2014.
Generally things worked very well as everything was checked the day before each opening time, but we did have a problem at one stage with an artwork causing the electrical trip switch to turn the power off. Croft had to call in the electricians who had installed the network of cabling and lights to sort out the fault. 

It was all worth it to see the artworks loom out of the darkness against the backdrop of the castle and the inky black sky.

Rebecca Farkas, Thereby Hangs a Tale. Meadow Arts commission 2013.