The paper discusses the development of a practice-based research project by the artist. The research set out to question the possibilities of enhanced colouration and lighting effects exploiting optical fibres in conjunction with laser and digital technology. It questioned the use of laser techniques to enhance light and the incorporation of new lighting mechanisms using digital mix (DMX) lighting systems to address the possibility of programmable colour as novel, time-based aesthetics.
The work is in response to an interest in the use of and available of new materials and technologies that are challenging the face of science, art and engineering. Within the context of design at the technology interface, fashion and textiles are providing an exciting platform for innovation, as promoted by the recent Materials Knowledge Transfer Network showcase exhibition, ‘Made in Future’ featuring UK smart fashion and textiles. There is significant market awareness and interest in light-emitting and colour-change materials and this can be seen across a range of market sectors and in today’s products and artefacts. The use of optical fibres within light-emitting textile products, has steadily gained a greater market importance over the last 15 years and their use and visual exploration the arts and lighting design continues to grow as the inherent properties of the fibre and its related technology offer many possibilities and much scope for creative exploitation. Lighting mechanisms include light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as well as conventional light projectors, which continue to be the preferred option although their use is limited to lighting standard fibre bundle sizes.
- Sarah Taylor (UK) is Reader within the School of Architecture & Design at the University of Brighton. Her areas of enquiry have pioneered the creation of light-emitting textiles which exploit the visual and mechanical properties of optical fibres as interactive, multisensory textile-based artwork.
Full text (PDF) p. 375-376