Named after the ancient sea mirages that once deceived seafarers with images of ethereal architectural marvels suspended above the horizon, "Fata Morgana" is a light installation that blends reality into a captivating dance of illusion and sensory immersion. Designed to enchant and mesmerise, this installation was conceived for Clerkenwell Design Week 2023 as a collaboration between Jestico + Whiles, Studio Fractal and Architainment.
"Fata Morgana" is a journey into the realm of perception guided by the idea that light is not just a tool to illuminate, but a medium that shapes our very perception of the world. A metamorphic play of light captivates visitors with a luminous symphony of hues and reflections transporting them to different worlds inspired by nature. Light washes across a wave tunnel constructed from 35 patterned canvases that are meticulously crafted from an innovative Notpla x G.F Smith seaweed paper, that fuses sustainability with artistic expression. A fragmented mirror at the end of the tunnel reflects back a mirage of the installation distorting further the observers senses.
The canvas material harnesses the byproducts of seaweed processing, transforming them into a paper canvas that blends nature, technology, and creativity. The synergy between light and material brings to life the play of shadow and luminescence, offering visitors a tactile sensory experience that transcends the visual.
The concept of illusion takes centre stage as "Fata Morgana" channels the captivating beauty of fleeting phenomena. This installation guides visitors along a path illuminated with immersive lighting themes inspired by;
An auroral borealis against a night sky, gently moving clouds in a blue sky; dappled light through a forest canopy; swaying kelp fronds underwater and an ice cave within a glacier. Hypnotic lighting sequences create an emotive visual experience, briefly highlighting the textures and patterns whilst establishing a poignant reminder of the delicate beauty of our world.
"Fata Morgana" begins to explore the intricate studies of colour and its multifaceted influence on our comprehension of depth. Through the dance of hues, the installation manipulates the very dimensions of the space, playing with the observer's senses to challenge their perception of distance and volume. Likewise, the strategic deployment of pattern and perspective invokes a sense of wonder, compelling participants to recalibrate their notions of depth and space as they navigate through the immersive tunnel.
"Fata Morgana" is an invitation to step into a world where reality and illusion merge in a symphony of light and materiality. It beckons participants to reconsider their surroundings, to question the boundaries between perception and actuality, and to experience firsthand the enchanting potential of light in the understanding of our world.