17 September 2011 - 19 February 2012
Light brings an added dimension to artworks and this exhibition highlights the work of six artists who use neon in their artworks to convey different ideas and messages.
Sarah Blood, whose beautifully simple sculptures are poetic and thought-provoking;
Keith Brocklehurst whose work often features figures and animals inspired by ancient cultures;
Richard William Wheater who uses abstract forms as well as performance art to tell his narratives;
and Sharon Foley who uses familiar objects to provide an insight into challenging issues such as mental health and discrimination.
Light Fantastic will prove enlightening in every aspect.
The remaining two artists will be announced very soon - watch this space!
The terms neon tubing or neon signs are actually general terms for glass tubes which contain gas (commonly a noble gas) with electricity running through the tube to create light. Tubes using neon give the classic red glow and other colours are created by other gases and coloured glass.
William Ramsey’s classification of the noble gases (helium, neon, argon, krypton and radon) between 1894 and 1908, with their characteristic glow when an electric current is passed through, paved the way for the neon tubes and signs we know today.
Glassblower and inventor Heinrich Geissler company was set up in 1852 to concentrate on making illuminated tubes for schools and universities as well as for public interest. Geissler's staff were selling tubes to the public from 1857 onwards. Globally the first neon advertising sign was sold in 1912 to a barber in Paris.
The first neon filled sign to be sold in North America was by Georges Claude's Company - Claude Neon to 'Packard's an American car dealership. Earle C. Anthony purchased the two signs reading 'Packard' for $1,250.00. Prior to this 'neon signs' in America were filled with carbon dioxide and lit up white.
This exhibition shows how versatile these tubes can be, taking the invention full circle to its glassmakers' roots.