Sylvia raised an interesting point, that so much of the garden lighting that looks beautiful at night can look pretty dire in the daytime. A very good point – which is why most lighting designers go to such lengths to show the effect of light whilst hiding the source.
But if you are trying to create a light sculpture, is it possible to design something that looks good during the day too?
I wonder if inspiration can be taken from Fiona Heron and her glass sculptures…
Could these be adapted to become solar lights at night without loosing their essential translucent beauty?
I first came across the work of Wolfgang and Heron at Westonbirt Festival of the Garden 2004. I’ll have a root through my photos because the images on their site really don’t do the beauty of the garden justice. Blocks of deschampsia and then stipa gigantea are overlaid with a grid of silver birch – with these glass sculptures glinting in the light. It was a garden of restrained simplicity that focussed on the movement of grass, shadows and the play of light.
Further gardens from the Westonbirt Festival of the Garden can be seen on the website. The Festival is sadly no longer running although it has been replaced by a new festival Future Gardens which opens this year in St Albans.
Another designer who I think has suceeded in producing light sculptures that work both day and night is Julie Nelson
Her interest in ceramics, as a material for lighting, is not based on its translucency but on its opacity, the way the light bounces around and fills recesses, accentuating the form. All nelson lights serve a dual function; emitting a warm ambient light in the evening, whilst retaining their aesthetic appeal during the day.