These solar powered kinetic chandeliers consist of dozens of glass radiometers, which shimmer and flicker as they turn in the sunlight. Altering their speed with the subtle changes in lighting conditions, the vanes of each radiometer speed up and slow down throughout the day.
Beautiful shadows are formed as sunlight passes through the tiers of glass. Usually only experienced as a tactile sensation, the energy of the sun is rendered both visible and audible with the chandeliers shimmering light and a very quiet ‘clinking’ sound. For over 50 years there was fierce debate about how radiometers work which can be read about here.
Observed from a distance, the sculpture is a form of delicate moving glass. During the evening the chandelier is activated by electric light.
Timelapse film of the artworks construction…
“The chandeliers are one of a number of Jerram’s artworks which blend design and science resulting in objects that attempt to illustrate invisible phenomenon that surround us at all times. Historically, chandeliers were made from glass due to the light-scattering abilities of crystal to brighten up a dark space. This work turns that function inward, drawing in light from the sun with a mechanism that makes us aware of its power in unexpected ways.
The artwork stems from Jerram’s fascination with light, engineering and science as well as the fact he is colour-blind.” De Moines Art Center, USA.
The artworks were first made for an exhibition at the Heller Gallery in NYC 2012. Since this time the works have also been shown at The Museum of Art and Design (NYC), the National Glass Centre (UK), Spike Island (Bristol, UK) and Aynhoe Park (Oxford, UK), The Weizmann Institute (Tel Aviv), Des Moines Arts Centre (USA), the National Centre for Craft and Design (UK)
The films above show the 17ft tall chandelier containing 665 radiometers designed and created in 2012 for the Bristol and Bath Science Park, UK. In 2013 a 20ft tall chandelier was commissioned and installed for the reopening of the National Glass Centre, UK.
The most recent artwork was this 17ft Chandelier created for the expansion of Chrysler Museum of Art, USA. Read this nice press story about this chandelier.
This small solar powered cloud, made of 50 radiometers was installed at the M Shed in Bristol. It’s a prototype for a far larger artwork being developed by Luke and his team.