Iridescence – Kings Cross

Location: Kings Cross, London

Iridescence is an immersive, site specific installation created by artist Wolfgang Buttress which expresses the energy of plants and soil in real-time. A live data feed is used to create both a sense of wonder and a sense of the now using modulated light, sound and scent.

Wolfgang collaborated with me to curate and install a bee friendly temperate planting scheme. Over 10,000 pollinator friendly flowers and seeds have been laser etched into 740 glass blocks to create an abstracted sculptural diorama. These blocks are lit by a responsive LED array that is modulated by the live data feed and suggests how bees see the world.

The intention is to establish a sense of connection and empathy with the natural world, filling the space with a sense of calm. A gentle, ever-changing soundscape, with synchronised, soft, undulating visuals, driven by the live data links help foster a serene and meditative experience.

The artwork has been integrated into the interior architecture of the lobby. A simple 100mm x 100mm grid was employed throughout using a natural, raw palette of materials – Douglas Fir timber,  glass and planting.

The strict geometry of the grid acts as a foil to the ever-changing life of the flowers, grasses and soil to the integrated and responsive light and sound system.

3,502 Flowering plants, 3D laser-etched into crystal glass blocks, including dandelions, daisies, poppies, cow parsley and clover.

A whirlwind of 74,382 3D laser-etched dandelion seeds.

19,5 GB of 3D flower scan digital models went into the laser-etching process.

9,480 Douglas Fir timber blocks were cut and finished to build the artwork made from 420 linear metres of Douglas Fir timber

2 tonnes of crystal glass

92 custom data-controlled, wide-colour gamut LED luminaires

We are a part of nature, not apart from nature.

Photography  Mark Hadden