Caught in the wind – Paul Cocksedge

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installation, sculpture

Paul Cocksedge, a London-based designer, was commissioned to make this ‘caught in the wind’ sculpture for the city of Lyon’s annual Festival of Lights (ended 11 December 2011).

Bourrasque, as it is called, resembles pieces of paper fleetingly caught in the breeze, and engulfed the 25m long courtyard of the Hotel de Ville in a frozen moment of drama and movement.

Cocksedge suspended 200 sheets of electrically conductive material that light up in the air. Each sheet was the size of a piece of A3 paper and was hand moulded.

The work brings attention to the 17th century courtyard, its expansive and enclosed space. It forces you to gaze up, across the length of the courtyard and appreciate the void as a three-dimensional space. The sculpture also makes us question to what extent light might be a three-dimensional entity, as it fluctuates and rises and fills the space of the courtyard.

‘I’ve been fascinated for a long time by the various properties of light: how it emanates, how it diffuses, bends, reflects, and scatters,’ says Cocksedge. ‘With these EL sheets I’ve been able to explore much further the idea of light as a flat object, as something touchable and malleable – not housed in a glass bulb or a neon strip, but an object you can bend and twist – and almost see it come alive in your hands.’

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