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The Art of Light

Prominent light artist Trish Campbell’s work is in the spotlight in Queenstown after installing one of her most creative high-profile sculptures in the resort.

The Auckland-based artist has been designing and creating lightworks for 12 years, featuring in many exhibitions and events across New Zealand. 

But it  is the bespoke pieces that have a special place in Trish’s heart and one of her most recent commissions was from Xero founder and philanthropist Rod Drury for an outdoor light sculpture for his new Queenstown home.

“I had a work at the TSB Festival of Lights which had six lights on the island on the lake at Pukekura Park and Rod contacted me to discuss a similar installation for his property,” says Trish. “We met onsite and found a suitable position for the work, which would involve the lights being freestanding and angled and leant in various positions.”  

“At the time, I did not have the means or know how to accomplish this, but we knew it was possible, somehow. I worked with Rod’s builder and engineer and together we designed, tested and fabricated an armature to do the job. Entirely new boxes had to be designed and fabricated along with the other components to ensure the lights would withstand the outdoors. It was quite an achievement.”

The stunning sculpture – entitled Acropolis – was the successful result and she says it even held up to a blustery storm that tore down surrounding trees soon after installation. 

“I was thrilled. It was a testament to the innovative design, installation and material qualities.” 

Rod says he knew Acropolis was special from the moment it was installed.

“Trish visited the first night we turned Acropolis on. I wasn’t prepared for the rush of emotion when this beautiful light sculpture illuminated from within and revealed its bold joy,” he says. “Lit in the dark, Acropolistransformed into the most happy and fanciful modern sculpture.”

Trish Campbell

Using LEDs, gel and acrylic Trish fills boxes with light and colour combining them in harmonious or contrasting compositions until they form a contemporary artwork.

The sculptures are seen as unique, emotive and enthralling and also the reason why they captured the attention of P.E Nation founder Pip Edwards who purchased six existing Trish Campbell lights and commissioned her to create a bespoke piece for the P.E Nation global flagship store in Sydney. 

“There is a lot of science behind the effects of light and colour on the human system but I try not to get too weighed down by this so I can just allow instinct and true feeling to permeate the work,” says Trish. “I can only speak for what I feel and know that when I create something that feels right, and is right, then I am happy that I have achieved the right outcome. What is staggering, to me however, is that others can feel the same emotion, reaction and uplifting effect.”