Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 5 March 2015

Let there be light! £800,000 public art finally shows its true colours

Lights out: Mute Meadows consists of 40 upright poles and coloured lights but the £800,000 installation still doesn't work properly
Ireland's largest public artwork Mute Meadowat Ebrington in the Waterside in Derry which was beset by electrical problems and is now fully operational. The steel columns have lights below them which pulse and change colour based on sounds which have been recorded around Londonderry. Picture Martin mckeown. 05.12.12

An art installation designed to brighten up Londonderry, but which stood in darkness for over a year because of a malfunction has finally been switched on.

The coloured lights of Mute Meadows, on the banks of the River Foyle were continually cutting out, leaving engineers baffled.

However extensive testing has found the apparent source of the problem, which has now been fixed.

The artists, Vong Phaophanit, Turner Prize nominee and his co-creator, Claire Oboussier who created the £800,000 installation, the largest piece of public art in Ireland, had previously voiced their concern that for months it failed to shine. Situated at the Ebrington side of the Peace Bridge, Mute Meadows consists of 40 upright metal poles, ranging in height from six to 10 metres were supposed to light up in different colours at night in designs based on the stained glass windows at the Guildhall.

Ilex, the agency in charge of the installation, said a number of issues which had arisen have now been resolved and over the past few weeks it has been lit up as a reduced light display. Caoimhin Corrigan from Ilex says the full benefit will soon be visible.

“What we have done is to test the resilience of the power system which was a problem for us for a while.”

Mr Corrigan said they have now managed to isolate the problem.

“It just seemed to be switching itself off, shutting down.

“Some of the units were changed and we enhanced simple things, basic wiring.

“It is now very solid and is back up and running at a good time of the year with clear skies and dark nights which is when it looks at its best.

“It has stopped going down on us and you will notice more dynamism, more shifting of patterns, more morphing of one colour to another.”

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