Every year, as Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights arrives, it brings along a wave of celebration and festivity. A major part of this merry making is the lighting and burning of crackers and as one who does not participate in this act, I somehow cannot keep myself from sneaking to the terrace and watch the sky light up with fireworks. A smile creeps onto my face each time the exotic colors of the sparkles illuminate the sky and my heart skips a beat to see the explosions push the moon and stars into the background and stretch far and beyond where the eye can see.
Today at The Yellow Sparrow, join us as we take you on this journey with artists who have used fireworks as an inspiration to create images that stun.
1. LOVE AND EXPLOSIONS
Cai Guo-Qiang took to celebrate love in the city of love – Paris with his conceptual pyrotechnic “explosion event” ‘One Night Stand’ (Aventure d’un Soir). One Night Stand was a part of Nuit Blanche, an all-night citywide contemporary art event and took place in front of the Louvre which houses Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The public was invited for a night of adventure, to witness a love story told through fire and light, from the first explosions to the colourful climax!
The happening was a three-part show – One Night Stand, Let’s Play, Sorry Gotta Go which changed people’s perception of the city, mixing together imagination and passion curating a tale enjoyed by a large audience. The first scene – One Night Stand, was a heated pyrotechnic display that lasted twelve minutes where fireworks expressed love and its metaphorical eruptions. In the second scene – Let’s Play, a sightseeing boat (bateau-mouche) outfitted with fifty tents brought one hundred lovers from around the world to spend a luminous and romantic evening on the Seine. If they wished to share their blissful experience with other spectators, they would press a button next to them to trigger short sprouts of fireworks, which were fired from small boats nearby. For the third and last scene – Sorry Gotta Go, close to one minute of elegant blazing silver fireworks acted as a tacit ”goodbye kiss.” For the finale, fireworks that spelled out the words ”Sorry Gotta Go” appeared.
Image Courtesy: WordPress
2. BOMB ART
‘Firework Drawings’ by New York based artist Rosemarie Fiore are large works on paper made by exploding and containing live fireworks, resulting in bursts of saturated color that are overlapped and arranged into abstract compositions.
For me, paint just isn’t enough.
The procedure employed by Fiore is a very elaborate one, requiring an inventive mind paired with efficient hands. She first bombs blank sheets of paper with different fireworks including color smoke bombs, jumping jacks, monster balls, fountains, magic whips, spinning carnations, ground blooms, rings of fire, and lasers.
As she works, she creates imagery by controlling the chaotic nature of the explosions in upside-down containers. When the paper becomes saturated in color, dark and burned, she takes it back to her studio and collages blank paper circles onto the image to establish new planes and opens up the composition. She then continues to bomb the pieces. These actions are repeated a number of times to create the final work containing many layers of collaged explosions that are thick and heavy.
Image Courtesy: Wooster Collective
3. FLY HIGH IN THE SKY
‘Butterfly for Brooklyn’ was a monumental site-specific 20-minute long pyrotechnic performance piece by iconic feminist artist Judy Chicago presented by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance on April 26, 2014.
I’ve always thought big and now I’m having the chance to work at a scale and level of complexity that I only dreamed of.
‘A Butterfly in Brooklyn’ will depict the life-cycle of a massive butterfly, and will include thousands of LED lights. The image of the winged creature is attractive because it is a historical symbol for a goddess. Chicago revealed that her male professors at the University of California led her to repress her earlier artistic pieces that included insects.
Image Courtesy: Artsbeat
4. EXPLODING COLOURS
Swiss-born, New York-based Olaf Breuning is a multi-medium creator and you could call him a sculptor, illustrator, videographer or even a smoke bomb artist.
Life is too complicated and colorful to just focus on one thing.
One of his signature creations, that stand out the most, are the smoke bomb performances, where he builds a grid of fireworks and lights them to create a rainbow-hued smoke screen. These are precisely staged photos of various smoke bombs, fireworks and other colorful objects arranged on a loose framework, creating an immersive display of rainbow chroma and hue when the smoke bombs are detonated.
Breuning is charmingly honest about the fact that art can be good art without pumping it full of inferred meaning. He believes that some things are just meant to please the eye.
What, do you want to change the world with that? It’s just beautiful, and I like that.
Image Courtesy: This is Colossal
5. WATCH AND SMELL!
Bompas & Parr
Bompas & Parr are the crazy food geniuses who have crafted the world’s first multi-sensory fireworks display.
We’re going to actually let people taste the fireworks!
The event took place on New Year’s eve in 2013 along the banks of the River Thames in London and combined a pyrotechnic and lighting display with special effects involving sight, sound, fruit flavours and fruit smells. One could literally taste the fireworks!
In addition to this, the show included blasts of scents from all kinds of fresh fruits matched to the colors of the fireworks. There were bubbles filled with flavored smoke and even edible confetti.On top of all that, the 250,000 people in attendance were also given scratch’n’sniff handouts, wristbands sparkling with LEDs, and new fruit candies specially made to complement the sights and sounds of the show.
Image Courtesy: Gizmodo
So there you have it, we hope these ecstatic visions curated by talented artists were able to please your creative sides just like they please the skies on the night of the festival of lights!