Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Light Fantastic

Today is the final opportunity to see Wellington's waterfront
(and Laneways) in a new light.

'Square Things' by Johann Nortje

Devised in 2011, the Wellington Lux Light festival has grown each year, to a full thirty exhibits glowing for the last time tonight. (a Lux, incidentally, is a unit of luminosity, and not indicative that the festival might be sponsored by a soap company).
We first saw the spectacular displays last year, and were particularly taken by this exhibit, apparently based on cherry blossom.  We'd stand with night-time crowds on the corner of Frank Kitts Lagoon mesmerised by the swaying globes and their shifting, undulating colours.

One of the highlights of last years festival.

Fortunately for us, but definitely not for the festival, Wellington was then ravaged by a two day storm, the worst in decades, which probably added some of the vulnerable exhibits to its list of damage.  This year the festival was extended to ten days , and came with the new criterion that the exhibits needed to be able to withstand 140kmh winds.
Although necessary, this does seem to have created a chunkier, more industrial look to many of the displays, in place of the more intricate and organic structures of last year.

A notable exception is this 'light raft' ( nZwarm by the Advanced Architecture Laboratory and Augmented Senses Group) anchored in the lagoon which swirls and ripples with colour like some vast bioluminescent sea creature.

Probably most spectacular is the Bridge of Light (Angus Muir Design), already lit all year round with 'lightsabre-like' blue rods beneath it's span, it has blazed with colour over the past ten days.

As a free and spectacular experience, the Lux Light festival makes braving the chilly darkness more than worthwhile, brightening up the Wellington winter in every way.  Highly recommended.
(photography by R Hughes)

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