Light Art + Sculpture

Our passion for light and production design extend well beyond the walls of theatres or the rooftops of stadiums. In recent years, the Mandylights team have worked together to create a series of stunning light artworks that have since graced light festivals around the world on an unbelievable scale.

From the iconic “Cathedral of Light” through to the intricate detail of the “Will-o-the-Wisps”, our artworks are spectacular to look at, and designed with our knowledge of touring and logistics behind them. They move easily, install rapidly and are available for deployment anywhere in the world. All artworks are available for hire, adaptation and purchase and can be scaled from small activations through to city-wide artworks. We love working with private and public entities to deliver amazing experiences of all shapes and sizes and have a solid record of delivery with government at all levels, in addition to private clients ranging from enormous tech giants down to boutique event producers.

What began as a small foray into artwork development in 2006 has rapidly grown into a major area of business for Mandylights – with the company shipping artworks to over a dozen countries in recent years.

Cathedral of Light

Cathedral of Light draws physical inspiration from traditional arched windows, typically found in historic churches, to create a 70 metre long tunnel illuminated by tens of thousands of LED light globes. The installation evokes feelings of attraction, warmth, inclusion and a sense of journey with its distinctive shape, attractive tone and walk-through nature. Much like the idea of a church, the installation draws people out of the darkness and towards the metaphoric light. Designed to be viewed from both inside and out, the Cathedral of Light appears as a single solid shape of bright light that illuminates its surroundings when viewed from a distance, radiating soft light outwards from all angles. Inside the ‘cathedral’, the space is smaller and much more intimate, and it becomes apparent that the cathedral’s light is not from a single source, but made up of thousands of tiny globes that together make the light so bright. The artists draw the analogy that, just like a strong community or congregation, the sculpture is made up of many smaller parts that work together to achieve a stronger, unified output.

Alice’s Garden

Using dozens of custom-designed and made inflatable flowers, mushrooms and other organic shapes, Alice’s Garden is a visually immersive installation adaptable to almost any environment, but ideally suited to a dense natural area such as a forest or woodland clearing or parkland. The installation has been previously choreographed to a musical and atmospheric soundtrack and works best when staged in an area with little ambient light.

The Laser Garden

Using up to one hundred custom made laser effects, the laser garden immerses crowds in thousands of slowly rotating coloured laser beams that pierce through added theatrical fog effects. The result is a truly immersive light artwork that captures the imaginations of children and adults alike.

Colour Cubed

Colour Cubed is a spectacular demonstration of how a single ‘old-fashioned’ light source can create an infinite array of coloured patterns that impact the viewer in myriad ways. The artist’s message: simplicity is beautiful; the medium is not always about complex technology. The installation is an imposing 2.4m x 2.4m illuminated steel cube frame, filled with stained glass and illuminated by a bright central light source. The cube rotates, projecting shapes of coloured light, visible to almost 50 metres around the installation. The overall effect is of a wildly beautiful light sculpture that projects beyond its confines to beautify the area surrounding it. The work is created by Mandylights and is an evolution of an installation created for Vivid Sydney in 2012. The earlier work was created on a rotating base and featured a rainbow of coloured glass.

The 2018 version has a more restrained palette of blues and magentas, and the frame itself has been covered with a brilliant white LED tape that allows the installation to morph and change from a centrally illuminated artwork to a dramatically outlined black frame that glows brightly in the night. Colour Cubed gently spins from a single central-rotating motor sending colours around the space.

Framed

Framed sees twenty geometric arches lined with brilliant colour changing, pixel mapped LED fittings to create a unique tunnel of light effect with a distinctly modern edge.

How Many Light Bulbs…?

How Many Light Bulbs…? is a play on the ever-popular ‘how many people does it take to change a light bulb’ jokes. The genesis of this work came when artist Richard Neville spotted the phrase scrawled under a bridge in Thornton, near Newcastle, NSW, on an evening drive. As he sat waiting at traffic lights the impact of the graffitied question hit home. He realised that the words were more than a tired old opener for a joke and asked himself, as a lighting designer: “How many light bulbs does it really take to have a profound effect on a person? Is it a whole city of light, cycling through every colour every night, or is it just one bulb found in the right dark corner at the right time?”

The bold font stands high, forcing itself on the viewer and demanding answers:
Are you impressed? Are you changed? Are you better because of this? The hope is that this light-bulb moment has a positive impact.

Illuminosaurus

A dramatic illuminated dinosaur that glows with thousands of LED pixels and can be augmented with smoke effects. Illuminosaurus is not for the faint hearted. This awe-inspiring 3m-high dinosaur is captured in a moment of fierce pursuit. Dinosaurs are the inspiration of myth and legend; their bones were often recorded as the remains of dragons and biblical giants. Their gargantuan size, arrays of teeth, claws and armoured plates sparked visions of fantastic creatures with supernatural abilities. The earliest recordings of dinosaur remains were made by historian Chang Qu and date from the Jin Dynasty (265-316). They were found in the Sichuan provence of China, where ‘dragon bones’ were highly sought after for traditional medicines. Constructed from bent laser-cut steel, Illuminosaurus has a spine lined with hundreds of individually controlled RGB pixels. The creature’s life force ripples through its body in dazzling colour displays emanating from its teeth, tremendous claws and bursting out of its chest and mouth. This incredible light sculpture draws inspiration from one of the better-known dinosaur species, Deinonychus, which shares many of the anatomical features of the Velociraptor dinosaurs featured in the movie Jurassic Park. Illuminosaurus is intended to inspire the imagination, to create a sense of the magnificence and power of these prehistoric creatures that once roamed the earth.

The Nautilus Forest

The Nautilus Forest draws from both nature and precise geometry to create an illuminated forest of spiralling trees. The captivating and hypnotic form of the spiral has long been a source of magic and fascination to humankind. The subject of lengthy mathematic study and the inspiration for much ornamentation, the spiral is an untamed, organic phenomena, but perfect in its reasoned geometry. The branches of the forest ripple and pulse with colour. Sometimes shooting off in independent patterns, sometimes rippling as one unified tree and sometimes sweeping magnificent hues of light across the whole forest. With more than 40,000 individually controlled RGB pixels at their disposal, the forest’s programmers can take full advantage of its intrinsic forms.

Each of the 24 trees stands up to 4.5m tall; together they merge into a meandering forest that entices visitors to enter and perhaps lose themselves within.

Migration

Migration sees dozens of elegant manta rays cruise above the heads of visitors – each individually lit from above. The addition of numerous water projection lights creates the illusion of viewing a migration of manta rays from an underwater viewpoint.

The Bloom

The Bloom is a giant, electric, metallic flower, its petals adorned with mirrored spirals that refract and reflect light in all directions. And there, at the centre of this shimmering beauty, is — you. The installation is almost five metres wide enabling visitors to stand in front of the centre of the flower to pose for photos, framed by petals of light, their faces fully in bloom. Covered in over 1000 individually controlled LED pixels, The Bloom uses external LEDs and internal colour-morphing floodlights to completely change its appearance every few seconds. As if adapting to nature and environment, The Bloom shifts from subtle, beautiful serene states to hyperactive chases and patterns that seem to rip around the edges of its dozens of metallic petals. The installation also looks beautiful in the day, when the petals flash with sunlight and reflect the faces of those that peer in — or out from its core.

The Families

Forty figures of men, women, boys and girls are made of LED neon and arranged in family-style units that communicate the many different types of family units that exist in today’s society. The installation is mounted on metal frames, which allow visitors to interact with the artwork by stepping through the frames and by taking photos in and around the installation.

The Vines

A stunning seventy metre long installation of up to eight thousand LED balls, all contained inside synthetic vines. The entire artwork is 3D mapped and set to a customised soundtrack and rigging can be customised to suit almost any environment.

Will-o-the-Wisps

The branches of a sprawling tree provide refuge for a countless number of mysterious, glowing entities known only as the Will o’ the Wisps. In the dark of night, their form is never truly revealed–instead they glow softly, appearing and disappearing seemingly at random. The ‘wisps’ draw their energy from folklore and legends born from every corner of the world: they are known as fairy fire by Welsh travellers, as Aleya by Bengali fisherman, as luces del tesoro in Mexico and as min min lights in Australia. Within the installation the wisps perform individually and reflect their different origins; they appear as devilish displays of red mischief, or elusive soft glowing orbs or burst forth as explosions of vibrant colour. Within the context of the artwork the wisps are a visual metaphor; by constantly appearing and disappearing they represent seemingly impossible-to-reach hopes or goals.

The Wreaths

We designed, built, programmed and managed a spectacular installation spanning two city blocks for Transport NSW’s stunning reopening of Sydney’s George Street, just in time for Christmas 2017. The enormous larger-than-life wreaths stood almost 14m wide, 8m high and were filled with thousands of individually controlled pixels, custom made inflatables and over a kilometre of green garland. The installation delivered Transport NSW the amazing results and saw tens of thousands of people flock to what was easily Sydney’s most instagrammed location over the Christmas period. The wreaths can be configured for non-religious celebrations and used as portals as entrances to an event site or adorned with signage.

Vector Lights // Auckland Harbour Bridge

Mandylights designed, installed, programmed and continue to maintain the permanent Vector Lights project on the Auckland Harbour Bridge in New Zealand. The landmark project created by Vector, Auckland Transport and Auckland City Council saw Mandylights design a spectacular, kilometre long installation of nearly one hundred thousand LED pixels that accentuate and illuminate the bridge’s unique architecture. The entire bridge is pixel mapped to display innovative content at different times of the year, and is powered entirely by a solar system. One of the largest projects of its kind in the world, the Vector Lights changed the face of Auckland City and represents only the beginning of an exciting smart energy partnership for the city.

City of Melbourne Christmas Tree

In 2017, Mandylights won a tender to design, build, program and execute a stunning new Christmas tree to become the centrepiece of the City of Melbourne’s Christmas activations. Standing tall in Federation Square, the Crystal Fir tree includes thousands of custom-made LED components including specially fabricated defracting branches and a low-resolution video screen base. Mandylights designed and built the tree using components from Australia and our manufacturing partners in China.