Pinball lanterns mark time

21:38, Feb 17 2009
TIMEPIECE: Eddie Clemens with his lantern artwork at the Central City Library which will light up in time with the nearby clocktower.

Visitors enjoying a coffee break at the Central City Library can now keep time with an unusual artwork.

A new light sculpture, Pinball Lanterns, was installed in the library cafe last week.

The piece by artist Eddie Clemens was chosen from 60 entries to be displayed in the cafe.

Pinball Lanterns features three hanging sculptures with a spiral rail guiding a moving pinball.

When the pinballs reach the bottom of the lanterns and begin climbing back up, the lanterns light up.

"Once the ball is fully ascended the lantern is totally lit in red," Eddie says.


The smallest of the three lanterns will be lit every 15 minutes, the next every half hour, and the largest on the hour.

And the computer-controlled pieces have been set to strike in time with the Auckland Art Gallery clock tower across the road.

"From the lantern space you can see and hear the city gallery bell tower so it’s just referencing that," he says.

Eddie says the sculpture was inspired by watching a Chinese lantern in his bedroom turned by a heater underneath it.

The Grey Lynn resident graduated from Elam School of Fine Art with a masters in sculpture in 2004.

He recently won the Olivia Spencer Bower Foundation award, a $30,000 one-year scholarship.

Eddie will live and work at the Arts Centre in Christchurch when he takes up the award next year.

The library artwork was funded by Auckland City Council and the Chartwell Trust.

Auckland City Harbour News