Custom Fibre Optics

volcano made from fibre optic lights


fibre optic lighting representing a volcano


Welcome to CORE. An installation inspired by the natural environment and the geothermal, lava spewing landscape of Iceland.

I was successful in applying for a position at NES artist residency in Skagastrond, Iceland where myself and several other artists from all over the world stayed for a number of weeks where we each created a light themed artwork to be installed outdoors for their annual Light Up festival.

volcano made from fibre optic lights

Before i was even accepted, my mind was already racing with new designs and ideas (it never really stops!).

I knew i wanted to do some sort of volcano/fissure as Iceland is well known for its volcanos and geothermal activity however id usually always want to do a site visit first, which often leads to a eureka moment and something is usually affirmed in my mind. I am very visual and sometimes i just need to look at the surroundings and landscape to come up with an idea. It could be a patch of grass, a tree, or in this case, a pile of rocks.

fibre optic glowing volcano

After arriving and settling in at the residency, I was eager to walk around the small remote village and find my inspiration and installation site.

I shipped over the main components that I knew I would need to make a lava display and went with the hope of finding a good area or feature to work with.

To be fair, Iceland is definitely not short of sloping cliffs and rocks so I immediately noted around 8 different locations where my lava could work well. There were so many great locations along the coastline.

Unfortunately after assessing each location in more detail, my favorite places weren’t going to work out. Some where too far or high to get power to, some areas were already secured by other artists and some were just too dangerous!

After filtering out what could and couldn’t be used I decided on a big pile of rocks which were down by the sea, near the harbor.

Days went by (which felt like weeks) and we were all either making, planning, designing, programming our ideas. On the lead up to the festival, we all had our doubts and fears about the weather.

In a matter of minutes a sunny clear day could change in an instant, a snow blizzard could roll in with freezing cold winds, which made it almost impossible to work in and certainly uncomfortably cold.


fibre optic lighting on a volcano

We all prayed for calm for the weekend ahead.

The days before the festival were the worst we had experienced during the whole stay and we were all pretty fed up by that point.

We all had to brave some seriously challenging weather to install our work outside, which honestly wasn’t fun at all, I was cold and miserable and thought I was going to lose my fingers to frostbite!

I had to scramble across the icy rocks for hours in the sub zero temperatures whilst decorating it with fibre optic cables. Having to take a break every ten minutes or so to warm my hands back up.

With a stroke of luck however the storm passed and the two festival days were pretty good weather (As far as iceland is concerned!)

The cold, hard work, stress, emotions and fatigue are all quickly forgotten though when I eventually turned on the power, stepped back and seen what I’d created.

fibre optic lighting volcano

I was actually blown away (no pun intended) by the results. I was a little anxious that it wouldn’t look right and that it wouldn’t quite look like lava as much as id hoped it would but it worked out very well and I’m super happy with it and as usual, everyone else’s comments and feedback just makes me so proud and makes everything I do worthwhile.

It was a pleasure actually seeing the locals come out (you barely seen a soul day to day) and lighting up their little town during the long dark winter months.

Overall it was a brilliant experience. I met some amazing people, seen some amazing sites and went through a whirlwind of emotions but most importantly I came home with new artwork that I’m really excited to develop and install at future events.

As usual with my artwork it is completely scalable and can be customised to compliment different features and landscapes.

If you are interested in this piece, I will be more than happy to here from you!

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