9 April - 29 May 2016
Luminary is a series of beautiful LED light drawings exhibited in two parts: as a monumental walk through installation at Fabrica, and then in May during Brighton Festival, Brothers and Sisters which is a series of smaller works based on children’s drawings, can also be found in neighbourhoods in the city.
The exhibition at Fabrica, developed from drawings by older people, combines two ideas in one: literally that the artwork itself emits light, and metaphorically that older people bring important knowledge and a longer perspective to the rest of society.
Luminary stems from the artist’s love of drawings produced by an ‘untutored hand’, and sketches by young children and older people have provided both the inspiration and material for the final works. Using LED light rope, the artist has transposed a selection of drawings to a larger scale, retaining and amplifying the power, spontaneity and uninhibited style of each original
Ron Haselden has been working with this technique for the past ten years – often choosing to work with the drawings of those who are the least visible and vocal in our society: young children, prisoners and now, older people. Luminary offers the singularity of an artist’s vision, yet sheds a genuine light on the perspectives of others.
As a septuagenarian, he finds himself reflecting a great deal on being older. Many older people do not find it easy to have their voice heard as contemporary life rushes on. The value of the older person, for the main part, slips too readily out of sight. I see the work, Luminary, as giving older people much more visibility, by presenting in quite a confrontational way, very large illuminated drawings in very public spaces.
For this project we are working with co commissioners Brighton Festival, England’s largest annual multi-artform festival and partners MSL Projects, an established arts producer specialising in outdoor and participatory arts across the UK.
Born in 1944, Ron studied at Edinburgh College of Art (1961-66) and taught sculpture in the Department of Fine Art at Reading University and at the Slade School, London. He lives and works in London and Plouër-sur-Rance, France. He was Sargant Fellow at the British School at Rome, has received numerous awards and is represented in private and public collections, including: The Arts Council of Great Britain, The Hamlyn Foundation, The Elephant Trust, The Esmée Fairburn Foundation, The London Arts Board, The Henry Moore Foundation, The British Council, The RSA Art for Architecture Award Scheme, Alliance Française, and le Fonds Régional d’Arts Contemporain de Brétagne.
Ron Haselden has produced temporary and permanently sited light works, largely in neon and LED, since 1982.
Fête (1997), a sound and light work where shifting carnival lights waltz in time to nostalgic French and Dutch melodies. Originally commissioned for ‘The Scottish Connection’ Exhibition, Feeringbury Manor, Essex it has since toured to the Serpentine Gallery and Canary Wharf in London, Salisbury Festival, the Miniories Gallery in Colchester, Plouër-sur-Rance, France, and Luzboa Bienal (2004) Lisbon, Portugal.
Echelle (2000), a neon lightwork originally commissioned for the Salisbury Festival, the work has since toured to Canterbury, Rotherhithe, and Walworth.
Blue Passage (2000), a work for 8000 blue LEDs commissioned by the British Film Institute for the new IMAX cinema, London.
1000% (2007), an architectural-scale multi-screen video projection utilising 1000 signatures of people working or visiting the marché d’Aligre, Paris. Participant’s names could be seen to slowly scroll through the windows of 100 rue de Charenton.
Animal (2008), neon works created from drawings by children, sited on buildings across Liverpool, commissioned by Liverpool Biennial (International+) and produced in collaboration with local schools and Garston Cultural Village, Metal and Rotunda College.
Day and Night, Night and Day (2009), New Street Square, London, a permanent neon light-work in the City of London (the work generates colour designs which can influenced by people working in the surrounding offices).
9 Men drawing (2010), a light work created from drawings by offenders from HM Prison Durham and also presented at Festival Arbres et Lumière, Geneva, Switzerland.
Brothers and Sisters (2011), Lumiére Festival, Durham, UK and Family Idea (2012), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where children’s drawings were used as the basis for creating illuminated artworks.