Wakefield Museum

Wakefield 2001

Pedestrians passing Wakefield Museum, in the city centre at night, will be surprised to suddenly see without warning the static classical lighting scheme of the building periodically transformed by one of many short lighting sequences that dance around the building.

The light work celebrates and references the historical use of the building as a dance hall, from 1880 to 1940. This information has been used to create eight light sequences that are based on dances that took place during this period, the Quadrille, Waltz, Charleston, Tango, Military Two Step, Rumba, Fox Trot and Jive.

The light sequences reflect the rhymes and timings of these dances while creating movements that are generic to the neo-classical façade in various ways. The work makes reference to the building’s past use of the first floor inside, by appearing on the first floor of the outside.

This has been achieved by connecting a programmable controller to the 10 pairs of spot lights, that light the Ionic columns that surround the building on three sides. Each sequence lasts for approximately five minutes with a 25 minute gap before the next one, during which time all the lights remain on. The different sequences appear to change their order of appearance and the time they come on each night. They run through out the year from dusk to 1am. charlesquick.org

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