A public art installation
I like viewing works of public art and was especially taken with a temporary exhibit set up in Winnipeg, Manitoba as part of Nuit Blanche during Culture Days Manitoba.
Culture Days is a three-day long national celebration dedicated to providing Canadians opportunities to participate in and appreciate all forms of art and culture. Artists and cultural organizations in hundreds of towns and cities across the country collaborate to create free, interactive and “behind-the-scenes” events. The annual event starts on the last Friday in September. Nuit Blanche Winnipeg, a free event running from dusk to dawn on the Saturday of Culture Days weekend, explores and celebrates contemporary art.
CLOUD is an interactive sculpture created from 6,000 incandescent lights created by artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett. The piece utilizes long pull strings and ordinary light bulbs. Some of the bulbs encased in wire are non-functional, others turn off and on as viewers pull the strings.
Clouds are fascinating. Their shapes, hues and formations give emotional character to the sky, varying from dark, stormy anger to fluffy, whimsical playfulness. I and others also found the CLOUD sculpture fascinating. People stopped to investigate, interact with the piece and photograph it.
The sculpture was placed at the foot of the Riel Esplanade foot bridge. The spire and lines of the bridge made an interesting background for the piece. When I viewed it from the other side, other clouds provided the backdrop for the sculpture: clouds by Mother Nature and the glass cloud of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
When a number of people continually pull on the strings turning the lights on and off, the effect is like lightning flashing through the cloud. The movement of the string resembles the fall of rain.
CLOUD was first created for Nuit Blanche Calgary in 2012. A second edition was commissioned by Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art for Art Experiment 2013. Since 2013, the sculpture has been on display in over fifteen exhibitions around the world. Plans are for exhibits in Australia in 2017 – dates yet to be announced. The artists have designed a similar piece entitled CLOUD CEILING which utilizes sensors and has over 15,000 lights. It is installed in the Progress Bar in Chicago.
Culture Days information on the sculpture described it as an “icon of hope and optimism”. It certainly brought smiles to many faces the evening I saw it. The blurb about the sculpture also identified another meaning as a “beacon of transitional technologies and changing futures” as incandescent light bulbs are being phased out in many countries.
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