James Tapscott, the Melbourne-based Land & Light artist, is happy to announce plans for “TRAVERSION”, an illuminated sculpture to be located at the iconic “Bridge of 15 Bridges” on the Herengracht Canal in Amsterdam from the end of November through to the end of January 2019.
TRAVERSION will be part of the seventh Amsterdam Light Festival, where local and international artists take visitors on a journey along 30 original artworks created especially for the event.
Tapscott’s TRAVERSION will be composed of two vaulting arches of fine mist, one on either side of the famous bridge, illuminated with white light of subtly differing colour tones. “I want to give the feeling, when you pass through on a boat, that you are moving through different spaces, from cool to warm,” said Tapscott.
‘TRAVERSION’ will echo the effect of looking through one bridge tunnel to the next. The site has a unique and interesting visual rhythm, as you look down each road or canal you see multiple bridges lined up in the distance – hence the name “bridge of 15 bridges”.
“My work is determined by the site itself,” said Tapscott. “The place determines the idea, the idea determines the materials and the materials determine the approach and its language”. Rarely using colour, Tapscott’s Land And Light art is particularly concerned with the ‘genius loci’, and the narratives that emerge at a littoral edge where land meets water and water meets light.
The translucent sculpture is meant for pedestrians to enjoy too; they will see boats emerge through a curtain of warm mist at the end of the tunnel, as if from another world. The mist will hang in the air, floating above the water, intensifying the emotional timbre of the space.
Edition #7 of the 53-day Amsterdam Light Festival revolves around the theme ‘The Medium is the Message’, a famous statement by the Canadian scientist Marshall McLuhan. The role of light in conveying a message and the city of Amsterdam as a medium for telling stories will be central to the festival of 2018/19.
Earlier in 2018 Tapscott showed “Vivisection” at the DARK MOFO festival in Hobart. Also this year, his “Diaphanous Bloom” was installed in Shenzhen, China, in association with Art Front Gallery and United Art Projects. Tapscott is also working on a large-scale public artwork for Perth, Australia, and his studio’s design-arm is completing a hospital commission for 200 timber wall-light fixtures called SOLID.
Tapscott’s best-known artwork “Arc ZERO-Nimbus” was installed at the Japan Alps Project, orchestrated by Fram Kitagawa in 2017, and is in many ways the parent of TRAVERSION planned for Amsterdam.
A 6-meter walk-through ring set over a wooden bridge in a forest, “Arc ZERO-Nimbus” was illuminated by two layers of soft LEDs, creating ever-changing play between light and liquid, and turning the negative space of the ring into a diaphanous crystalline O.