Saturday, 29 October 2011

Mona Hatoum's Hot Spot at the Goetz Collection Munich

Mona Hatoum's, Hot Spot , 2009, neon and stainless steel

I've recently returned from 3 days in Munich, having been asked by The Goetz Collection, an internationally renowned, private collection of contemporary art, to assemble Mona Hatoum's Hot Spot for an exhibition of her work beginning in November. The collection is owned and continuely added to by, the former gallery dealer, Ingvild Goetz who presents the collection to the public in a series of themed exhibitions in a purpose built museum, designed by the Swiss architectural firm of Herzog and de Meuron in 1993.

Peter Head, neon fitter extrodinaire, working somewhere in the Philippines

Originally commissioned in 2009 for an exhibition in the Fondazione Querini Stampalia at the Venice Biennale,  the piece comprises 48 sections of 8mm clear tubing filled with neon gas. Each piece was initially bent in two dimensions,using a full size drawing as a template and was then bent again into three dimensions to fit the curvature of the globe. 

The tubing is lit by 10 transformers producing 95000 volts and running at 18m/A. The tubing is attached to the frame with nylon fishing twine and is cushioned on a bed of silicon sleeves. The H.T.cables drop straight down from the electrodes to the transformers housed in the base.


Mona Hatoum's Undercurrent

The exhibition also includes the work “Undercurrent”, a beautiful and intricate mixed media extravaganza comprised of cloth covered electric cable, lightbulbs and a dimmer device allowing the lightbulbs to "breathe" . Other pieces include several of Mona's early video installations as well as "Paravent" or "Grater Divide" and "Slicer".

The exhibition runs from 21st November 2011 - 5th April 2012 at The Goetz Collection, Oberföhringer Straße 103,  D - 81925 Munich.  Tel. +49 - 89 - 95 93 96 9 - 0

More information about Mona Hatoum is available at here at Artsy

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Festival of Lights Berlin

The Festival of Lights is one of the largest illumination festivals in the world. Every year for twelve days in October, Berlin’s world-famous landmarks and monuments are dressed in spectacular light. German and international artists and lighting designers present extraordinary illuminations, light art and creative designs. The festival is accompanied by numerous cultural events, all exploring the theme “Light”. The festival is an admission-free, top artistic event for an audience of millions. It generates massive media interest worldwide, and as a result, promises real sustainability.

Time guards by Manfred Kielnhofer

The constant struggle with concepts of space, sculptures and installations as well as the engagement of mysticism and primal religions led the Austrian artist to create “timeguards“. The first timeguard was built in 2007 and is reminiscent of a withdrawn monk. Kielnhofer likes to present his sculptures at exciting locations. They appear and disappear. You can never anticipate where they will show up next time, reminding us that we are never unobserved. Every one of our actions is seen by the guards and evaluated. They were already in existence a long time before humans populated the earth.



Thursday, 13 October 2011

Neon Vancouver Ugly Vancouver

The Vancouver Sun reports that the Museum of Vancouver is currently holding an exhibition entitled "Neon Vancouver Ugly Vancouver" with a selection of neon signs from Vancouver's past.

Did Vancouver’s flashing neon signs signal glamour, excitement and big city living? Or was neon part of a tawdry display that disfigured Vancouver’s natural beauty?

People were of two minds in Vancouver in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Neon signs that are now loved were, at that time, objects of deep civic controversy.

The exhibition runs from Thursday October 13th 2011 - Sunday August 12th 2012, giving you plenty of time to have a look.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Neon Sign, Merton Road SW18

If you need  Tyres, Exhausts and Batteries, then purchasing them from Sothfields Tyre & Battery Service, 288 Merton Road, SW18 will afford you this wonderful neon vista. Why shop elsewhere ?

Neon Love Heart With Wings

8mm White HP20 and Pink G2 tubing with right angled electrodes. All three sections of glass were broken on this piece and had to be completely remade. The pink tubing was hand coated due to a shortage of pre-coated 8mm tubing in this country, while the white tubing was left over from one of the last glass deliveries from the mighty Masonllite. Turned out really well I thought.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Everybody Needs A Neon Ray Gun

You never know when you'll need a neon ray gun, keep your eyes on the skies.

The Humble Neon Aircraft Obstruction Beacon

Spare a thought for the humble neon aircraft obstruction beacon. As seen on many a tall building, mast or crane the 12mm diameter coiled neon tube is not much larger than a modern domestic CFL bulb (compact fluorescent light) but thankfully produces enough light to warn off planes from some considerable distance.

Many of these bulbs were originally produced in the Oldham Claudgen factory in Wembley during the 1980's and early 1990's. Using a process known as electric bending, clear glass tubing was placed inside a metal braided sheath, which in turn was heated by passing an electrical current through it. Once the correct glass temperature was reached, the glass being maliable enough to bend, the whole thing was quickly wound onto a spiral former, where it would be annealed over a short period of time before being removed to be electroded and pumped.

The tubes were electroded using large shelled electrodes (120m/A plus) and neon resevoirs were added to enable the tubes to be run on a higher milliampage for a longer period of time.

Sadly now being replaced by the LED, this one war repaired by myself a while ago, a thing of beauty, now rarely seen.