Light is a very important part of our life – it’s the first thing we see when we wake up – it’s the last thing we see before we close our eyes to sleep. It illuminates our rooms and keeps the darkness at bay. It keeps us healthy as a vitamin D supplement. It’s part of our food security as a major component of photosynthesis that helps plants develop and grow. It’s part of our history, our culture and our entertainment.
planetarium show : the birth of a star through Lumia
As an interpretive form of decorative lighting Lumia has its own entertainment design niche within the lighting world. Lumia’s emergence began when it’s discoverer, Thomas Wilfred displayed Lumia recitals during the 1920s in town halls and in auditoriums – just about anywhere throughout the United States and Europe where he was able to present a Lumia performance.
Lumia’s abstract visualizations have been used in planetariums shows to mimic certain natural phenomena such as the aurora borealis. In other instances Lumia’s unique look has been directed by Hollywood studios usually as a visual effect in certain science fiction films where some ethereal force becomes a plot point that Lumia can visually represent.
Beyond Hollywood, the museum and art gallery world beckon, where Lumia art shows have been presented at New York’s MOMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, The Worchester Art Museum in Massachusetts and Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art.
Today we have new Lumia artists, new digital processes and new audiences with a world of differences in what they define and appreciate as Lumia art. For Lumia artists it’s an uphill fight of getting contemporary galleries to acknowledge Lumia as a recognized art medium to be shown and as an artwork that gallery visitors would want to own as a collectible.
Lumia has always been about the spectacle of sculptured light, it awed viewers when it was first discovered in the 1920s and today when presented in public still has the same fascination with audiences as it did ninety years ago.