HELP, a light for the oceans

Published on Wednesday, 13 June 2018

“Art is above all an expression, and what we want to do here is draw attention to the wonderful environment all around us. Let’s not spoil the assets we enjoy”

– Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager of Enel

An “amazing” light project

The shape and size of the cages means they are similar to the foundation blocks of the Roman ruins that surround them, but the cages also provide a stunning contrast: millions of plastic bottle tops give the installation a noisy, colourful presence that clashes with the austere stone of the Roman Forum. At night, when the colours cannot be seen, it’s time for Enel X to play its part. Inside every cage we have installed two LED units. When the sun has set they light up with a fiery red colour which many visitors have compared to that of lava in a volcanic eruption.

For the best possible results we carefully assessed all the technical factors: the power of the units, filters, size and direction of the light beams and the weight and size of the supporting framework. The result is what Finucci, with visible satisfaction, called “An amazing light project.” Her opinion was echoed by Paola Pardini, Manager of the Garbage Patch State programme, who said that “The effect of the lighting system is truly extraordinary.”

This new project is based on our experience in artistic lighting, but it also features two important innovations. There is a significant aesthetic difference when compared to the systems we have used, for example, to illuminate the ruins of Pompeii. There we emphasised the art with a harmonious light, while now the intention was to highlight the dissonance between the installation and the scenic context, using an expressionistic (as opposed to a soft) lighting effect.

The other great innovation lies in the work’s ethical value. Our aim isn’t simply to please the eye of the onlooker: we also want to inspire awareness of the fact that we are all part of a planet facing an existential crisis.

“HELP is a cry of alarm that is not limited to important environmental issues, but places the individual and the life of the planet at the centre, showing that the environment is indissolubly linked to natural resources, health, food, poverty, inequality, human rights and peace”

– Maria Cristina Finucci, artist and founder of Garbage Patch State

The technology created for HELP is one of our best artistic lighting projects, in its breathtaking visual impact and its success in linking art to the issue of sustainability.

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