Crazy, creative clusters light up LUX


Fashion design student Kate Jones with her LUX entry Pom and Pom as seen by day.


Pom and Pom at night

An image from the exhibit SEED

Fellow LUX ehibitors Molly Brankin, Rachel Neser and Jasmine Grace

While it doesn’t move as fast as the speed of light, fashion design student Kate Jones’ entertaining exhibit at the LUX light festival is set to be a crazily active as well as illuminating feature of the annual event.

A colourful array of light sculptures and interactive installations will bring lightness and brightness to the capital when LUX switches on with a mix of design, art and technical innovation aimed at surprising, delighting and captivating audiences after dark. The festival, held on the Wellington waterfront, opens on Friday and runs till May 27.

Ms Jones’ exhibit, comprising two giant round walking clusters of illuminated coloured yarn, will certainly do all of that and more.

Her work be joined by two other exhibits called SEED and KINESIS crafted by graduates of Massey’s College of Creative Arts, as well as the staff and student Massey MoshPit interactive dance and video space, for the festival on the Wellington waterfront from May 18-27.

The exhibit Pom and Pom was inspired by a paper connected with LUX called Creative Works for Festivals offered by School of Design senior lecturer Ant Nevin, who also has a separate exhibit at LUX.

The paper asks students to devise a contemporary design project that can be pitched to producers while being mentored by artists and designers who exhibit nationally and internationally.

Working with this idea, Ms Jones devised a performance piece in which two people wear separate clusters and move their way around the festival site accompanied by a black clad figure (a dancer from Toi Whakaari), whose role is to dance around and between the poms with an external light source in the form of an orb which will appear to be hovering.

“The goal is that it can be seen and able to be thrown around,” she says.

“The orb will illuminate key features of the Poms and add to the performative and comic nature of the piece.”

The two separate clusters are made from Lycra and two bicycle helmets and feature ultra violet rings inside.  On top of this strips of fabric have been attached to hand dyed yarn that is sewn and triple stitched onto the body of the clusters. It is then topped off with a water proof spray to protect it against drizzle.

“I enjoy working with weird and crazy body shapes rather than the standard fashion collection of say for example, shorts and pants. If I wasn’t doing fashion design I think I would study industrial design,” Jones says.

The 21-year-old, who moved from the United Kingdom with her family to Warkworth as a teenager before coming to Wellington to study, is in the final year of her honours degree. Texture, silhouette and movement, all evident in her LUX exhibit, drive Jones’ creations be it avant-garde or ready-to wear.

Audio and visual exhibits

A trio of design graduates, Molly Brankin from Christchurch, Jasmine Grace and Rachel Neser from Wellington, also have an entry in LUX called SEED – described as a contemplative multi-layered flora form sculpture that uses metaphoric and poetic visualisations of nature in stages of bloom and decay.

A further exhibit by Ms Neser and Ms Grace is KINESIS, an audio-visual installation that uses projected film, light and sound.

The Wellington based artists are graduates of the visual communication design programme. Ms Grace has a background in performing arts and balances this interest through the portrayal of immersive experiences through narrative, choreography and audio-visual elements. Ms Neser’s focus is directed at digital media “blending tangible and intangible qualities” and collaborating with Ms Grace to produce social commentary narratives using audio visual technology.

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