Palace of Light and Shadows

It was the first time I had been to the Kibble Palace, at Glasgow Botanic Gardens, at night and it was remarkable how different the experience was: plants brooding and sullen, shadows cast in sharp relief, the sounds muted…!

The Kibble Palace was originally built in 1873 and was subject to major refurbishments completed in 2006.  As part of this refurbishment, the late 19th and early 20th century Neo-classical figurative marble sculptures were retained and complemented by new interpretation including a striking series of fused glass panels.  Further details of these and the Botanic Gardens Heritage Trail can be found in a leaflet: which also has a remarkable story of where a large part of the Kibble Palace originated from !

The Kibble Palace has also just been used as a fantastic location for a light and sound installation, Heliotrope. The installation explored the relationships between people and light, in particular the impact light can have on our minds and bodies, and highlighted the long shadow that can be cast by Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The installation, subtle and compelling, really needs to be experienced, as it comprised a remarkable sound scape of resonant drones and chimes, by sound artist Hanna Tuulikki, but with a haptic element to this with sound (I think) in part emerging through the floor.  Gradually changing hues, levels and directions of light evoked, diurnal rhythms and annual solar motion, but appeared to be interspersed with micro-flashes of light.

If the Palace of Light and Shadows was brought alive for me through Heliotrope by the installations producers Trigger, I cant wait to see what they do next following Zombie Lab….

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