Project detailsProject type: Arts and education
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Artist: Peter Powning
Photographer: Mike Capson
Lighting Design: Lightstudio Design
"Memory Vessel" is a commemorative sculpture on the Saint John waterfront. During the day, light plays off its rippling textures. At night, it emits a soft, tranquil glow.
It changes so much as the day goes by: it catches the sunrise and the sunset; in the daytime, the light is very subtle; in the evening, the light takes over.Peter Powning
Saint John's Harbour Passage is a trail that takes pedestrians, runners and bikers to several of the city's sites of special interest. The trail was created to help connect Saint John's citizens to their historic city. In 2009, artist Peter Powning was asked to create a sculpture that would commemorate 5 people who died in an accident in a specific spot along the Harbour Passage.
Completed in 2010, Powning constructed his artwork, called Memory Vessel, from stainless steel and tumbled glass made from rejected crystal lamps that were broken up into small shards. It's a canoe-like shell held up by undulating columns, recalling the city's nautical nature. At night, a soft glow emanates from within the glass vessel and from the podium underneath the structure.
The subtle, almost lunar effect was created by lighting designers Linda Lees and Luis Rocha at Lightstudio Design. Lumenfacade fixtures were used both inside the sculpture and below it. "The structure is filled in with crushed recycled glass," Rocha says. "It's encased by a wireframe, so when you shine light through, it has a sparkling fleck to it. It's a luminous surface with texture." Meanwhile, the luminaires installed below-grade provide a sustained sheen on the columns.
Durability, in the face of harsh weather conditions, persuaded Rocha to choose Lumenpulse, whose products come with a corrosion-resistant option. "This is an outdoor installation," he explains. "We have fixtures on the ground, which would be exposed to snow, ice and water. So the fixtures had to withstand the elements." In addition, as a public artwork, low energy consumption becomes a priority. "Plugging it into the grid was not desired," says Rocha, adding that a separate solar power supply was built for the sculpture.
"It changes so much as the day goes by: it catches the sunrise and the sunset; in the daytime, the light is very subtle; in the evening, the light takes over," says Powning. "I've had a lot of nice reactions to it."
2 x Lumenfacade Color Changing (4', 30° x 60°)
4 x Lumenfacade Color Changing (3', 30° x 60°)