Luminarium

Lakeside Arts – Architects of Air

On Saturday 20th October I visited the Luminarium and it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. For some reason I assumed that the exhibition would be inside, however I was presented with an inflatable architectural enclosure.

The exhibition was inspired by traditional Islamic architecture and Gothic cathedrals. Alan Parkinson’s wonderful structures immerse audiences of all ages and abilities in radiant colour.

I started by removing my shoes and entering the Airlock. Entering the exhibition I was faced with a monumental installation, and soon to be immersed in the beauty of colour and light. I was not prepared for the magnifient inflatable structures and sheer luminosity. I was stunned at the unexpected effects created by the colour and light. I loved the beauty of the natural geometry.

I wandered round and round the winding passages of small domes that are said to be inspired by repetitive forms found in the bazaars of Iran. I was fascinated with how the light was created: shining light through the coloured plastic. This has given me inspiration for future photography projects; projecting light through coloured acetate.

I took time to sit in the pods to absorb the ambience. Although there were quite a few children, I enjoyed watching everyone taking in the effects of what light can achieve. Through labyrinth tunnels and cavernous domes, I moved in a medium of saturated and subtle hues, accompanied by a gentle sensory soundscape. It was such a unique experience and one I found hard to describe. It was also quite a calming on all the senses with subtle music played throughout.

I admire the skill that must have gone into creating this structure with all of its separate domes and columns. I didn’t think the lights in the Green Dome were as effective as a result of them not being as vivid. Having said this, I loved the Red Tree and Red Dome because the colours were almost blinding. The lights were so prominent in their separate domes, but also combined together when looking through the archways, creating an illusion of a never ending tunnel of light and colour.

Rachel

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