The first edition of the festival took place over Dec 2018 / Jan 2019, lighting Spier up with an array of artworks that incorporated light and sound. More than 10 000 people viewed the 18 artworks, ranging from interactive installations to pieces that invited the visitor to pause and reflect.
‘Light art installations are intractable and mercurial by nature. Transcending the confines of their materiality, light art works are also defined by what they illuminate or hide,’ reflect the festival’s curators, Jay Pather and Vaughn Sadie. ‘These experiences – of walking and pausing, catching a glimpse or settling down to absorb – invited introspection, adventure and playfulness. Scattered across the Spier estate, each work offered an opportunity to experience the complex, multi-hued, multi-faceted texture of our environment and ourselves.’
The Sunday Times Neighbourhood supplement wrote about the previous Spier Light Art Festival: ‘Far from your average colourful and flashing Christmas light show, the Spier Light Art Fest is an emotional and even physical affair, but always amazes… you won’t be disappointed.’
Call for expression of interest
Designers, architects, light and sound artists – as well as students and institutions – are invited to submit expressions of interest for projects that are engaging to all age groups. Applicants are encouraged to keep the youth in mind; this does not mean that serious issues cannot be presented, but merely that content is exhibited in a way that is engaging to young minds. Focus will be on proposals incorporating a sense of discovery and interactive play for children and adults alike.
Expressions of interest can respond to either of the two broad themes:
- The whimsical/ethereal: works can reflect a light-hearted engagement with one of multiple sites with a possible focus on interaction and audience experience.
- The conceptual: works can reflect and integrate more topical conceptual interests that frame our current socio-political landscape. Works could also reflect on our shifting relationship to technology and its disruptive influence.
Expressions of interest must include a short response to either of the themes (no more than a page), concept sketches and provisional budget indicating whether this is to be funded in part or total by the Spier Arts Trust. These can be sent to Nadja at firstname.lastname@example.org before 3 June 2019. A more thorough proposal may be requested after the initial short list is announced.
The Spier Arts Trust will fund or part fund the installations chosen by the Selection Committee headed by curator Jay Pather.
Artworks showcased at the first edition of the festival offer creatives ideas for the kinds of works that the Selection Committee are interested in featuring. Refer to last year’s programme for inspiration: https://www.spier.co.za/art/light-art-festival