Thursday 20 August 2009

'Spectacular' tower lights for Opera House at Wexford

THE WEXFORD skyline is to be changed by a new lighting system to be installed on the fly tower of Wexford Opera House.

The lighting system, described as a “spectacular lighting feature” was commissioned through the Per Cent for Art Scheme by the Office of Public Works (OPW), which is overseeing the project at the €30 million opera house on High Street.

The artwork, entitled Liquid Mountain , was created by Limerick artist Andrew Kearney, who won the €65,000 commission, and will be unveiled on September 25th, to mark the closing of the inaugural Wexford Culture Night.

Mr Kearney hopes his creation will be “a cultural and architectural hub, viewed by residents and visitors alike from various traditional vantage points”.

It has been described by the arts department of Wexford County Council as “a spectacular lighting feature” and “a ground-breaking 21st-century art commission . . . that will change the Wexford skyline forever”. The Liquid Mountain will consist of 16 LED floodlight units.

Ciarán McGahon of the OPW said they would have a very low energy consumption and would not have too great an impact on the opera house’s electricity bill.

The power source for the lighting system will be laid within the roof space of the opera house. The system can be accessed through a web browser, enabling particular sequences of light for special occasions, such as the opening of the opera festival.

Mr McGahon said that an anemometer – a device that is used for measuring wind speed – on the roof of the opera house will monitor the variations in wind activity.

This information will then be processed by the lighting system, which will change colours with the variations in the weather.

Elizabeth Rose-Browne, press officer with Wexford Festival Opera, said preparatory work for the installation of Liquid Mountain is expected to begin at the opera house at the beginning of next week.

Irish Times

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