At the intersections of light, space and interaction :: art, design and architecture

‘Wonderful Wellington LUX’ – 2012 an overview

Enigmatica lights up the Wellington night.

“The experience of discovering amazing and unique things
as you walk about is delightful,
and it adds a new dimension
of wonder to the city…. “

Wellington LUX was on from September 1 – 9th 2012 and saw over 4,000 people visit outdoor light art installations that ran in a trail running from the Michael Fowler Centre in the heart of the city to Te Papa Museum along the waterfront.

Putting life and energy into winter outdoor space’s is what Wellington LUX is all about and and a great example of this were the two interactive works Squid Soup’s Wavelight and Acute Self by Interrupt as seen in the picture above. Both installations called for people to jump around and get into it that not only kept them warm but had them laughing as well.

An animated visitor interacting with Acute Self by Interrupt.

A classic site for the festival team was seeing a young girl practicing her dance moves in front of Acute Self as she got transformed into cubes and abstracts shapes and also watching all the kids (young and old) pushing the digital waves endlessly around with Wavelight against Te Papa.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade Brown in front of Squid Soup’s Wavelight.

The undoubted hit of the festival was the amazing illusion squares of Australian Kit Webster’s Enigmatica on the St Johns lagoon lawn. Visitors night after night parked up in front of it taking photos on their phones or just generally enjoying being transported away in a trance. In true Wellington fashion people often clapped in appreciation at the end of its short but hypnotic sequence.

For more contemplative moments people were drawn to  Storybox’s Afterlight installation in Odlins Plaza. This was a smaller version of their storytelling installation, with sound and images on the container walls, projected from inside. This small child was transfixed by the images on the screens and the stunning soundtrack.

A young child mesmerized by Afterlight from Storybox.

“My walk home along the waterfront is one of the highlights of my day,
and having the chance to play around with the Lux show has been great.”
– Larmona, Facebook

Of course the Wellington weather played its part with some of the highest winds of the 2012 arriving over our closing weekend (120 – 140kms per hr!) but with the commitment of festival team and Wellington City Council we managed to keep our installations and the public safe from harm.

Overall the event was a huge success in terms of what LUX set out to achieve in our first outdoor installation series and it awesome to see the huge support for it from the community.  The whole thing proved to us that there is a great demand for an engaging outdoor light based creative arts experience in Wellington.