UNFURLII

Artists: CODESSI (Rana Abboud (Lebanon & New Zealand) / Ewen Wright (New Zealand)

UNFURLII is the collective noun for a group of shy, luminescent creatures that unfurl to relax and coil when approached. Reach up to an individual Unfurly and it will retreat to safety by curling up and away.

Conceptually inspired by the unfurling motion of a fern, each Unfurly stem consists of translucent light bars connected to cables that allow the stem to curl and unfurl in response to motion below. Motors at the top of each stem alternate between pulling and releasing on the stem’s cables, pulling the light bars up and drawing their spokes into a radial pattern, thereby curling them into a protective stance.

Motion beneath the Unfurly is detected by sensors that signal to the stem to protect itself, pulling it up and out of harm’s way. Lower your arms and the Unfurly feels safe, soon relaxing down for a rest.

The design of the UNFURLII installation is deliberately minimal, to draw attention to their movements and the play of light. The simple bars can flex and twist in response to wind and weather conditions, and computer controlled LEDs allow the bars to change colour in sync with their movements.

The delicate cables of the UNFURLII are in keeping with the maritime setting of Walsh Bay. Basking in the expansive water and sky views of their setting, their ‘natural habitat’ provides an uninterrupted backdrop against which the luminous stems can play.

Countries represented by installation: Lebanon, New Zealand