• Photo: Henning Rogge

  • Photo: Erik Smits

Shylight

A KINETIC INSTALLATION OF LIGHT AND MOVEMENT

Details

Materials: aluminum, polished stainless steel, silk, LEDs, robotics.

Shylight, by DRIFT | Shylight is part of the permanent collection of Rijksmuseum.

Text

Certain types of flowers close at night, for self-defence and to conserve their resources. This highly evolved natural mechanism is called ‘nyctinasty’ and inspired Studio Drift to create Shylight, a sculpture that unfolds and retreats to its original state to make a fascinating choreography, mirroring the nyctinasty of real flowers. Man-made objects tend to have a static form, while everything natural in this world, including people, are subject to constant metamorphosis and adaptation to their surroundings. Shylight is the result to the question “how an inanimate object can mimic those changes that express character and emotions”? 

After a research period of five years, DRIFT created the perfect form to visualise their concept. Shylight has become an object that feels alive because of unpredictable, natural-looking movements: it descends while blossoming in all its glorious beauty, only to subsequently close and retreat upward again. Shylight is created out of many layers of silk, which causes it to move with the grace of a dancer. The movement of the work can be controlled to the millimetre and gives it a subtle choreography. 

Images

Photo: Henning Rogge
Photo courtesy of DRIFT
Photo: Henning Rogge
Video

Video courtesy of DRIFT