Halation is an example of intense collaborative working in a sensitive site. As the pilot for Southampton’s Old Town Strategy it was critical that this temporary feature send a clear message of intent; that contemporary artworks can sit happily within the context of a historic monument. Close working was necessary with the local Archaeological Officer and English Heritage to ensure the status of the monument was not compromised by the Artwork.
The structural arms of the piece reflect the timber frame houses that are adjacent to the site, but also enable the steelwork housing the lights to be “braced” within the stonework without mechanical fixings. I employed Arup Engineering to assist in the project, both structurally and environmentally. Previous occasions of working with Arups have dealt with this sort of taxing problem, and all have resulted in effective and imaginative solutions. My strength as an Artist is in bringing these various parties together to create stimulating and engaging works of Art.
The entire project was achieved within a four month timescale to capitalise on an unexpected end of year spend becoming available and again the scheme was (amazingly) on time and within budget. Initially intended as a temporary pilot project the work remains in place after ten years having proved immensely popular both with the Council and the public. The lighting show is driven by a chronological clock enabling calendar events throughout the year, as well as programmed lighting shows with seasonal variations.