Light Artists

21 May

My next few posts are to expand my knowledge of light artists around the world.  After being criticized for only knowing people like Olafur Elliason and James Turrell, i thought it was time to expand my database.  Through this research i have found that ‘Light art’ is made up of a lot more than i realised.  This includes light drawing, light installations, light fairs, museums and exhibitions dedicated to all things light, projections, total environments, surfaces, interactive elements, performance spaces, kinetic + sensored features, theatre and architecture.

Patrick Rochon

Patrick Rochon

Patrick Rochon  “creates stunning images by moving light through various media and capturing the movement with photography and video. Patrick’s light painting is unique even among a field of very innovative artists, using lasers to illuminate his subjects in ways that create an eerie, otherwordly feel in the finished portraits. Patrick has also taken light painting to a whole new level by building costumes of lights and performing light painting on a giant screen to create a unique visual experience.” (

Eric Staller

Eric Staller

Eric Staller

Eric Staller‘s light drawings, created between 1976 and 1980 in New York City, give the viewer a whole new look at the Big Apple. These examples of light graffiti were created using a long exposure with a variety of light sources, sometimes in the form of 3-dimensional lit installations. His photographs seem to give the light itself a life of its own, as it travels through the city creating whimsical shapes down its streets and walkways. (

Alan Jaras

Alan Jaras

Alan Jaras creates his stunning images by passing streams of light through molded and textured plastic, for a “refracted” effect that is unlike any other light painter’s work. Colored dyes are added to the plastic shape, and the shape is placed in front of the camera in lieu of a lens to be directly captured on 35mm film for an incredibly unique and organic result. (

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin

“A pioneer of the ‘Light and Space’ movement of the 1960s, Irwin’s work focuses on perceptual phenomena, such as light, volume and scale, with installations that are conditioned by the site in which they take place. The presentation and placement of these works became as critical as the object itself, and in developing these ideas, Irwin sought to dissolve the distinction between the edge of the sculpture and its environment.” (

Richard Godfrey

Richard Godfrey

Richard Godfrey

“Richard Godfrey has extensively pursued investigations that describe how the visual world is perceived. He utilizes the modernist language as a means of expressing his ideas in his work, whether it be painting, sculpture, or installation. Engaging the use of light, both in a direct and implied means, Richard Godfrey pushes our understanding of multi-dimensional space by abstracting the three dimensional world we live in.” (

La Gaîté Lyrique, Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

8 May

*all images from

Umberella Art from around the World

6 Apr

“Cumulus Light Canopy” by Steven Haulenbeek

Located in a Melbourne mall, artist unknown

Multi-coloured umbrella light ball in Korea, artist unknown

“Parasol Project” by Jo Ann Fleischhauer

"Umberella Chandeleir" Shelly Sabel

Just some great little installations…

6 Apr

David Trubridge, "The Three Baskets of Knowledge"

” The installation called The Three Baskets Of Knowledge is composed from three hammock like baskets, each made from different material, playing with light and creating an illusion of transparency of a solid form, a signature feature of David Trubridge’s designs.” (

Museum of Science and Industry by Focus Lighting

Spotlights shoot 60 feet down through large liquid-filled disks and project ripple patterns on the floor to allow exploration of liquid wave dynamics.

The studio has used the slim form of individual OLEDs to create delicate light petals, forming flowers, which open and close in response to visitors.

An experience with video mapping conceived by the SUPERBIEN agency and the department New Media of the Agency \Auditoire.

The Mill – Alingsås project Report held by PLDA

“The Mill is reawakening. The water falling under the bridge is once again churning its power to bring Stampens Kvarn back to life. Once past The Mill, this energy fades, moving downstream under the second bridge and back to sleep”.

Santiago Calatrava

2 Apr

One of my absolute favourite architects.

L’Hemisfèric (Planetarium), Valencia, Spain

1. The Planitarium at night. Light is used in conjunction with water to reflect the structure as a complete eye. Calatrava also designed a mechanism that opens and closes the 'eye lid'.

2. Interior looking out

3.Shadows cast by the sun



Jean Nouvel

2 Apr

I have decided to research architects who use light in interesting ways and show-case some of their works. Not only does this act as inspiration but also introduces me to new architects, new projects and new ways of thinking. The projects i have chosen to display are projects that i thing use light as a tool, or in an interesting way.  My first architect is Jean Nouvel.


Louvre, Abu Dhabi, Jean Nouvel

Louvre, Abu Dhabi, Jean Nouvel

Louvre, Abu Dhabi, Jean Nouvel

Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris

1. Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris by Jean Nouvel

2. Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, Jean Nouvel

Louvre Abbu Dhabi pictures from:

Institut du Monde Paris photos:



transparent, transluecent + opaque

2 Apr

So that was a physics-dense lecture! Thank god it was mostly revision from high school physics! One thing i need to clear up before I continue: what is the difference between transparent, translucent and opaque?

Transparent: object is something that will allow all of the light rays to pass through it

Translucent: only allow some or a little bit oh the light rays to pass through it via diffusion of light.

Opaque: will not allow light rays to pass through it as all of the rays are reflected or absorbed. These objects are the most dense.

One thing that baffled me a little when i got home + started thinking about the lecture was why we appear upside down when we look at ourselves in a spoon and normal when we look at ourselves in the back of the spoon.  From what i understood of the lecture, the inside of the spoon acts as a concave mirror and the outside curve acts as a convex mirror.

Spoon Reflections

Inside the spoon:
When we look in a flat-surfaced mirror, our reflection is seen as ‘normal’ because the rays of light are bouncing off our face, off of the mirror, and straight back to you without bending. Unlike a flat surface, when the light waves hit different parts of the spoon, each at a different angle, they all bend differently resulting in an upside down image.  There is a great GIF explaining this at: To further this, when you are looking into the bowl of the spoon, the bottom curve is facing in the direction that reflects your forehead whereas the top/tip of the spoon is reflecting you chin.
Back of the Spoon:
When you look at yourself in the back of the spoon, you appear the right way up as there are more flat surfaces on the convex mirror allowing the light waves to bounce back reasonable straight.

Words of the day:

  • transparent
  • scattering
  • transmittance
  • matte
  • gloss
  • specular
  • diffuse
  • absorption
  • dispersion
  • interference
  • diffraction
  • polarisation
  • convex
  • concave

Perception vs Reality

28 Mar
  • How people perceive and behave in any environment
  • Building consciousness of light
  • The power of light to define and transform

One of the biggest ideas that i found interesting in the lecture was the idea of perception and reality, what we think it is vs what it really is, and that lighting sets the conditions for the delivery of seeing.  As it was stated in the lecture, not only is perception “guided by our present knowledge and past experience” (Ulas, E. 2011) it is also inter-dependent on other stimuli.  That is, from what we have seen previously we have a stored database in or brains of how things are supposed to look. Like most people, I have never really stopped to take into consideration  that what i see may or may not be reality but a perception of it.  Breaking these ideas down, perception is using our senses (sight, sound, taste, hear, smell, touch) to detect and interpret information whereas reality is that which is real.

A great way to show the difference between perception and reality stems from the art that has emerged from the idea.  Artists such as Shigeo Fukuda push limits within this concept with pieces such as “Encore” and “Mona Lisa Illusion” as seen below respectively:

"Encore" Shiego Fukuda

"Mona Lisa Illusion" Shiego Fukuda

John Pugh:

James Turell

“James Turrell, “Bridget’s Bardo” 2008. The artist once remarked, “I am really interested in the qualities of one space sensing another. It is like looking at someone looking. Objectivity is gained by being once removed. As you plumb a space with vision, it is possible to “see yourself see.” This seeing, this plumbing, imbues space with consciousness.” (PaceWildenstein)

"The Light Inside" by James Turrell

"Bridget's Bardot" by James Turrell

As designers, we can use the concept of Perception vs Reality as a tool to our advantage once we have an understanding that the percieved comes from past + present experiences of reality=memory.


  • Brightness:
  • Lightness:
  • Hue
  • Saturation
  • Transparent
  • Translucent
  • Contrast
  • Glossiness


27 Mar

Being asked to design something for Vivid has been one of my absolute favourite  assignments, mainly due to the fact that it has the possibility to be real. I purposely chose to be with Mel + Giles because of their experience. I figure with my younger perspective and their experience we could achieve something really awesome.  The sites we have chosen both have varying degrees of difficulty associated with them; the cascading waterfall concept for the sandstone wall (Atherton Street) and the gobo-infused concept/floating words of the water stairs (Mill Lane steps) are not the standard ‘building’ lighting features. Having chosen to work with these two more experienced people has proven to be slightly difficult.  I am not seen as an equal but someone who is naive and inexperienced. In saying this, i have learnt a lot from them and from the assignment in general. From understanding what a gobo is (not necessarily how it works exactly) to how and what makes water glow under UV light (the UV light would pick up the white wash from the movement of the water running down the steps but if that wasnt strong enough we could add quinine BUT it is incredibly sensitive to UV light which mean sthe UV Rays from the sun during the day would also make it glow).

We discussed the project as a group and then broke up the sites for individual analysis. My options for this Mill Lane steps are as shown below:

Stephanie Shehata "Mill Lane steps" for VIVID 2011. Originally with strip UV tubes.

Final submission Stephanie Shehata UV Light concept for Vivid 2011

*NOTE: Pellet was added to the left side of the steps to hid the UV lights from the viewers eyes.

Why Am I Doing This?

24 Mar

Lighting has always been one of those things I’ve always been interested in. In Design + Tech, i always tried to make something that incorporated lights somehow and my Major work in Year 12 consisted of a pendant light that incorporated LEDs and a lamp that is 1800mm tall. Now at uni, my appreciation for lighting, both artifical and sunlight, is at an all time high. I love how a design, or anything for that matter, can come to life with some lighting. I love that you can alter moods, create space, add drama and highlight spaces/features/things. At the end of it all, my aim is to gain a better understanding on how light works, how it interacts with materials and how I can use it as a tool to better the spaces i design.

So far the classes are intense but I’m absolutely loving it!