Light Art – Illuminating the Art World

Artists have always been fascinated by the interplay between darkness and light. The ancient shadow clocks were perhaps the earliest examples of the creative use of natural lighting. Later on, we had stained glass windows in Cathedrals creating beautiful designs out of sunlight. Impressionists too sought to capture the mesmerizing power of light and were preoccupied with depicting light, shadow and reflections in their work. It’s quite clear then that light, and its depiction has always intrigued creative souls, who’ve tried over and over again to master and mould it as per their wishes.

Today, we’ve come a long way from here. We no longer have to rely on natural lighting, for the invention of artificial electric incandescent lights allows us to experiment with light unlike ever before! Also, these tiny globules of artificial light allow us to take art outside the confines of art galleries and rooms, into the open. So, to begin with, let’s understand what light art is all about. Light art refers to any art form, be it paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, that use light as the main medium of expression. Light art pieces are created with one or more light sources and light is used to depict an image or evoke an artistic effect. Artists generally make use of LED lights, laser lights, strobe lights and fiber optics to illuminate their creations.

Artists experiment with various types of light art. Light painting, which is a photographic technique is quite well known and creates some really captivating images. Here, the artist uses a hand-held light source and long exposure photographs to capture streams of light on film.



Image courtesy: gizmodo

Light projection is another famous technique used to create light art. Here the artist projects light onto a structure in such a way that it significantly alters and beautifies the appearance of the original structure.


Image courtesy: fubiz

Light installations too are quite famous and are seen at many light festivals. These installations are usually site-specific and are illuminated by different kinds of light sources to create a desired effect.

wellington scoop


Image courtesy: wellington scoop

We hope this article has peaked your interest in a new and trending art form!