Blue Sky with Rainbow, 2016
Commission, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Rooftop solar receiver, sunlight, fiber-optic cable, PVC, optical components, hardware
A sunlight receiving system is mounted on the roof of the building. It follows the arc of the sun throughout the day to funnel real time sunlight into fiber optic cables. These cables penetrate the ceiling into the interior of the museum. The sky-blue clad fiber optic cables drop through the vertical space of the concourse, and split off in two directions.
One line of cable travels through the concourse to the entrance foyer, attached to walls and ceilings. This cable line descends down a column just in front of the main entrance door, where it emits a focused, bright beam of sunlight.
A second line of cable wraps around a column on the second floor, and makes its way to a blank wall. Here, the cable enters a hole that has been chiseled out of the wall, large enough that a viewer can peer inside to a cement cavity behind the wall. Deep inside the cavity, sunlight emits from the end of the optic line and illuminates a prism element. The prism itself is not visible, but the imported sunlight creates a nascent rainbow, which hovers in the excavated space inside the wall. Both the rainbow and the visible sunlight beam periodically flicker and change density as they demonstrate weather variations and passing clouds.
The cable lines are clad in a light blue casing, custom-colored to match the blue of the Perth sky in mid-summer.
Special thanks to Markus Greiner, Professor of Physics, Harvard University, Parans Solar Lighting, and OFS (www.ofsoptics.com) for their assistance on this project.