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Design team lights up Sydney

Masterton team gets creative across The Ditch

Last updated 11:07 14/05/2014
Sydney light show

LIGHTS ON: Colour Fall by Courtney, Di and Steve Norman will be on show in Sydney.

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An autumn-inspired multicoloured lighting installation created by a family team in Masterton is about to star in one of Australia's most popular public events.

Wairarapa is no stranger to the whimsical wonders of light created by Courtney Norman and her parents Di and Steve who together make up Darklit Design and they are just putting the finishing touches on their latest project Colour Fall which is set to be part of Sydney Vivid.

As a Massey Wellington spatial design student Courtney has created award-winning light and sound exhibits at the Wellington International Airport, Wellington Lux and down by the waterfront as part of the Rugby World Cup. Now graduated, Courtney works with her parents who own Laser Electrical to complete projects which require hundreds of man hours of work. This latest installation for example, entailed the team painstakingly hand- making around 80 internally lit Perspex leaves. Each one is lit by three multi-bulbed LED units enclosed in a Perspex tube and sealed water tight. They hang from a three-metre wide umbrella-like structure that can be completely disassembled for transport over the Tasman.

Siblings, grandparents, aunties and friends were enlisted to help with the project. Seventy-two moulded leaves are hung to form a spherical shape and the lighting sequence makes the leaves appear as though they are falling and changing colour as they swirl down - hence the name Colour Fall.

They are determined to make sure the installation performs as they have envisaged and aside from a few software and hardware hurdles they are well on their way to completing the mission.

Darklit Design set out to create something that was eye-catching, captivate imaginations and encourage viewers to want to linger and revisit.

"Our challenge is to deliver an experience that will stand up among the many other high impact and high tech projections and installations in the festival.

"To really engage with Colour Fall, and generally have an appeal to all ages of the public," Di says.

The last exhibit Darklit Design created together, called Tracing Transience, was one of the stars of last year's Wellington Lux and was also on display in Kuripuni as part of Kokomai-Wairarapa Festival of the Arts last year.

"We get an enormous amount of pleasure from witnessing the public's enjoyment of our installations and that makes all the hours of construction and planning worth it for us. To bring lightness to the soul is a gift we want to go on giving."

Colour Fall will be on display in central Sydney at The Rocks Museum for 18 days from May 23 to June 9.

Vivid Sydney is the Southern Hemisphere's largest festival of light, music and ideas, which transforms the harbour city with its colourful creative canvas. It features large scale light installations and projections, music performances and collaborations.

For more information, visit

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- Wairarapa News


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