Design Bridge has launched a topical new light sculpture in the heart of Amsterdam to highlight our obsession with technology and staring at screens. Absorbed by Light was created in collaboration with British artist Gali May Lucas and made especially for this year’s Amsterdam Light Festival.
The installation, which sits outside the Hermitage Amsterdam, provides an arresting commentary on “how we’re constantly drawn to the screens that illuminate our lives; yet the light that brings us information also draws us away from the tangible world”. It’s in response to this year’s theme: the medium is the message.
The installation itself sees three figures sat next to each other on a bench in the familiar poses and positions of smartphone users: heads bent, fingers typing and swiping, faces glowing in reflected light. While their bodies are physically present, their minds are elsewhere.
“I see this every day in parks and in restaurants, especially in winter when there are more hours of darkness,” says Gali. “In previous years, the works in the festival have been visually impressive but abstract – I chose to create something instantly recognisable and, in reality, quite literal. But eerie at the same time.”
Each year, The Amsterdam Light Festival sees 30 new light sculptures and installations illuminate the streets of the city throughout December and January and this year Gali is the one of the youngest exhibitors. She worked with sculptor Karoline Hinz, who is based in Germany, to create the piece. The two were initially connected after Gali discovered Karoline’s work on Instagram.
Gali add: “Absorbed by Light depicts a reality we can all recognise in ourselves – a universal truth. As a spectator, you can join the narrative by taking up a position amongst the figures and sitting on the bench.”
Simple, iconic and atmospheric, the sculpture is set to become this year’s most ‘Instagrammable’ sculpture. This is the first year Design Bridge has participated in the Amsterdam Light Festival. The event takes place until 20 January 2019.