Production Design and Manufacturing

Production Design and Manufacturing

Lumia Domestica

A project of unusual nature in the Turnpike Gallery, Manchester

For the first 6 months of the 2007, Specialz Technical Director, Keith Owen, worked very closely with Willie Williams, Lighting Designer for U2, George Michael and Lori Anderson to name but a few, on Specialz first art installation.


A project of this unusual nature is best described in the Artists Willie William's own words:

"Lumia Domestica" came about as a result of being asked to create an installation for the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh, Greater Manchester. I'd done installation work before, but only ever in extraordinary buildings like Canterbury Cathedral and the Southbank Centre. Being given a blank white space with nothing to respond to was a very different kind of challenge but a very interesting one.


A thousand ideas later I decided to make something that would play with the way light has been used to create 'light shows'. From the earliest lumia experiments to modern day moving lights the principle is the same - it requires a light source, something to make colour and then a piece of glass to focus or diffract the output. Quite how we got from there to cake stands I can't quite remember, but the notion of taking humble, if not hideous, domestic objects and using them to make the aurora borealis was an opportunity :


I couldn't resist. It was also important for the process to look absolutely effortless - like we'd just found these things, shone a light at them and it all just happened. That's pretty much the result we've got, but it took a great deal of time and experimentation to perfect the design of the illuminated turntables to give them the correct feel and produce the desired result. For the fabrication, Charlie Kail directed me to Specialz who worked with me for six months or more, designing, redesigning, tweaking and fussing till the units were just right. They also made the revolving wall scones & light-up radiator covers for me and almost managed not to laugh. I'm greatly looking forward to the next round of developments"..


Keith Owen commented;

"....And so are we! It was thoroughly intriguing and interesting project that all at Specialz enjoyed working on especially as we were working so closely with the designer"