Saturday, February 25, 2012


Starting today (Feb. 25, 2012) and lasting until tomorrow is Illuminite, a light sculpture competition going on in the soon to be "alley of light" in downtown Edmonton.

The organizers describe it as:
"Thirteen teams of local artists will showcase their sculptures and structures, which are interpretations of the concept of light. As darkness sets over the alley, the whole landscape will be lit up with the light emanating from the sculptures, creating a unique visual experience for the audience. A panel of judges will select first, second and third prize winners from among the entrants".

This years winter in Edmonton has been remarkably mild with limited amounts of snow. Generally, this has made the city even darker than usual and to be honest, ugly and dirty looking. Thankfully we have gotten a significant fresh amount of snow just today to truly help 'enlighten' the city.  In a nice bit of serendipity - with the snow today it is the perfect time for Illuminite.

I headed down early to see the displays in full light for context. It was great watching the artists set up and I was amused by the loading truck backing up to the Sobeys between the installations and the 'urban infrastructure'. I snapped some pics and headed to the newly opened Remedy on Jasper Ave to kill time till dusk and have a cup of the best chai in the city. Also, their pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are outstanding.
As the sun was setting I headed back down to the alley to catch the early glow of the light and snap a few more pictures. Below are some of my favorite pics - I tried to pair up some of the shots in the full light versus dusk.
The installation on the right is basically lamp shades with small LED's. 
The hanging light presented here is my favorite of all the designs. It's a cross between a glowing incubation pod and an IKEA lantern chandelier. I would love to see these in parks through the downtown. I'm also a sucker for the counter weight and pulley. Great job!
Below is my second faborite. Basically, it's just a bunch of mirrors. It really isn't all that inspired, and it comes in second only because it reminds me of "Enter the Dragon" with Bruce Lee. If I could change anything about it - I would have had some high powered low level lighting hitting the mirrors and really illuminating the snow. Without the flash on my camera it was kinda bland.
Another cool installation was the lamp-post with moving lanterns. Unfortunately it didn't show or photograph well due to its placement against the wall with a tow instead of a walkway in the snow.
A great idea (mostly because it was what I was hoping to see) were some paper mache lanterns. I kind of like the idea that these are all beheaded and piked pinnochios or wooden soldiers from Fables.
More installation pics.
A great little extra was the popup shop across the street offering local artisans and the chance to vote for your favorite installation. 
The clothes inside didn't have any sports logos or Batman on them so they weren't really my thing but they looked pretty styling.

Overall, I think the event was a success solely on the basis that there were actually people out and about walking around in the downtown. Well done. 

If you are reading this while you still have the chance to see it - just go - Don't worry about the weather or the snow you big baby - no excuses. 

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