“The advantage of aging is that you haven’t got too much to lose whatever the risk you take, and risk taking seems an essential ingredient in making art”
Luminary is a series of beautiful LED light drawings exhibited in two parts: as a monumental walk through installation at Fabrica, and then in May during Brighton Festival, Brothers and Sisters a series of smaller works based on children’s drawings, can also be found in neighbourhoods in the city*.
The exhibition at Fabrica, developed from drawings by older people, combines two ideas in one: literally that the artwork itself emits light, and metaphorically that older people bring important knowledge and a longer perspective to the rest of society.
Luminary stems from the artist’s love of drawings produced by an ‘untutored hand’, and sketches by young children and older people have provided both the inspiration and material for the final works. Using LED light rope, the artist has transposed a selection of drawings to a larger scale, retaining and amplifying the power, spontaneity and uninhibited style of each original
Ron Haselden has been working with this technique for the past ten years – often choosing to work with the drawings of those who are the least visible and vocal in our society: young children, prisoners and now, older people. Luminary offers the singularity of an artist’s vision, yet sheds a genuine light on the perspectives of others.
As a septuagenarian, he finds himself reflecting a great deal on being older. Many older people do not find it easy to have their voice heard as contemporary life rushes on. The value of the older person, for the main part, slips too readily out of sight. I see the work, Luminary, as giving older people much more visibility, by presenting in quite a confrontational way, very large illuminated drawings in very public spaces.
*See this map for the locations for Brothers and Sisters.
For this project we are working with co commissioners Brighton Festival, England’s largest annual multi-artform festival and partners MSL Projects, an established arts producer specialising in outdoor and participatory arts across the UK.
Luminary is generously supported by the Baring Foundation.
Total Visitor Numbers: 27,000
Exhibition Visitor Comments
Loved it. Connecting people with their own creativity – great!
Love the idea of using the simple untutored drawings of children and especially older people. The drawings were magical.
Great inspiration for our 13 year old who didn’t want to come but loves it! Thank you.
Photographs by Tom Thistlethwaite