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Light is the most important element of any piece of art or any craft. It simultaneously allows most pieces of visual art to exist while being both separate to it and of it. We thought it might be a bit fun to scout around the Internet for all things LED and art/craft related. There’s a huge number of things out there, but here’s some of the most fun ones we’ve found so far.

 

Re-Light My LED

For most older Hong Kong residents, the annual Mid-Autumn Festival means only one thing - fire. However, more recently the festival’s main organisers have turned instead to the safer, brighter and easier to control wizardry of the LED bulb. These have included LED lanterns, LED white roses, giant LED lit fish, and more.

LED in Art

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_DIwTTSopQ

 

To Infinity - But Not Beyond

C. Grimaldis Gallery has been listed as one of the five best booths at Art Miami and is known for its use of LED lights in its displays. Perhaps the most famous of these is by Chul-hyun Ahn, which features different modern art installations using LED lights and mirrors to create the impression of infinite loops, trapdoors, and corridors within a contained space. You'd never guess that a simple LED Panel was able to create such a mystifying illusion! With their white-brilliance and ever-lasting twinkle, LEDs are certain to be used more often in breathtaking art installations.

LED in Art

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFx2jGC17H4

 

     
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Janne Parviainen’s Human Figures

When thinking about the future of lighting in general, using LED lights to to trace a long camera exposure probably isn't hte first thing to come to mind. Amazingly, each ghostly painting takes art teacher Janne Parviainen 20 hours to complete. He starts off using white chalk before tracing each line with coloured LED lights under a long exposure. His creations are otherworldly - ghosts or stills from a 90s rave. Rather than using a still light as part of a photograph or installation, Parviainen is utilizing the LED as a moving object captured in a still image. 

The LED bulb's unique brightness and brilliance makes it an excellent choice when dealing with photography, and its likely photographers are going to get more and more creative with their incorporation of LEDs into their work!

LED in Art

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSUggusAxqE

 

Now for Something a Bit More Human

London-based speculative designer and multimedia artist Soomi Park has turned her LED skills to the human form - more specifically, the design for bigger wider eyes. For her, the solution is high-tech LED eyelashes and contacts. Spectacular, yes - the make-up/fashion trend of the future? We’ll see but stranger things have happened.

LED in Art

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5484m-tCeA

 

     
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Lighting Bristol’s Cranes - For a Dance

Yes, that’s right, cranes can dance too. As part of the city’s Heritage Festival, artist Laura Kriefman lit several cranes with LED bulbs and choreographed a crane dance - not much else can be said really, just enjoy the promo video. Imagine trying to accomplish something this majestic and refined with traditional incandescent bulbs! The intensity of the colors and the sharpness of the light simply can't be matched.

LED in Art

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-ACyQ1NhfU

 

Bringing the Stars Back to London

June, 2011 and the metropolis’ dark, light polluted skies suddenly have stars again. Did the smog and lights clear, allowing Londoners to see the galaxy again? Not quite. In fact, French artist Oscar Lhermitte was responsible for the vision by creating 12 new constellations strung on wires between the tree tops. The solar panel lights were attached to nylon lines and fiber optic cables as part of a Royal College of Art show called “Urban Stargazing.”

LED in Art LED in Art

 

     
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Starry Nights Cycle Path

LEDs bring functionality to the beautiful or perhaps beauty to the functional. In Holland, to celebrate van Gogh’s Starry Nights painting, artists and the council have combined a kilometer long track with glow in the dark stones, LEDs and beautiful art to create a winding, illuminated piece of art which is robust enough to survive cyclists and pedestrians using it daily.

LED in Art

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYpO2pJ6afM

 

One Last Thing - Museums and Galleries

A lot of the above ideas are cool and modern, things we could do, with a bit of handicraft skills, at home. However, paintings and pieces of ancient art which will fade or discolour in natural light are getting a new lease of life. Artificial lights may slow or stop this natural phenomenon, but they change how we perceive the colours and so we do not get a good idea of how the painting really looked or was supposed to have looked. Now, however, artists such as van Gogh, are getting a new lease of life through LED light bulbs. Not only that, but as LEDs are UV-free, they are seen as a safer and less damaging source of light. Why not ask your local gallery or museum if they’re using LEDs?

LED Panels offer an eye opening difference when compared to traditional bulbs in a museum setting. The brightness and intensity fully illuminates the pieces on display, avoiding shadows that are often a result of low intensity bulbs. Additionally, LED lights are a fantastic match to pre-existing LED upgrades throughout art galleries on an as-needed basis as the space undergoes transformation.

 

     
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Sources:

Bodick, Noelle, 2015, 5 Best Booths at Art Miami,  Blouin Art Info

Chen, Sophie, 2015, Museums are Using LEDs to Protect and Prettify Paintings, Wired.com

Davies, Alex, 2011, Bring Stars Back to London, Treehugger.com

Kriefman, Laura, 2015, Crane Dance Bristol, The Space

Maguire, Caroline, 2015,Things that go bump in the light! Finnish artist creates ghostly night-time pictures using LEDs around Helsinki, Daily Mail Online

Soomi Park - Soomipark.com