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VIDEO: Fringe artists create unique lighthouse relay project

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Written by ACNI Staff   
Friday, 26 August 2011 16:14
Jonathan Wright's Marconi-inspired artwork. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright.

FOLKESTONE, England (ACNI) – The International Lighthouse Relay is a project involving 14 lighthouses around the world and more than 45 artists who’ve collaborated under the auspices of the Folkestone Fringe, which runs through Sept. 25, 2011. From points as farflung as Ireland and New Zealand, Korea and Argentina, the artists have merged their talents and creativity to celebrate lighthouse structures through inspiring artworks.

Award-winning British artist Jonathan Wright explained the concept behind the Relay: “At each location, a sound recording is made. The sound is then passed on to the next artist, who adds, distorts or morphs the sound with his or her own input. Eventually, the relay comes full circle, and the first artist receives a sound work that is the culmination of 14 interventions – a kind of ‘sound cloud.’”

Wright said works have included the insertion of Morse Code, foghorns, ringing bells and even people drumming on the walls of the lighthouse to create music. Wright’s contribution was produced in response to The Old Lighthouse at Dungeness, in the English county of Kent.

“This particular lighthouse is situated close to where Guglielmo Marconi first transmitted radio signals across the English Channel and also to where John Logie Baird developed the first television,” Wright said. “The work contains a tiny copy of Baird's first mechanical ‘televisor.’ The image it shows is a film of the Dungeness Lighthouse, thereby linking the two forms of communication. These early televisions used sound to create an image, an irony that allows me to produce both sound and image in the work.”

The Lighthouse Relay project aims to highlight the continued importance of the world’s remarkable lighthouse structures, which have been used since ancient times, e.g., the Pharos at Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Wright said the primitive form of communication lighthouses represent still has a place in modern society and describes lighthouses as “romantic and isolated, while at the same time inherently heroic, withstanding weather and the extremes of nature to protect us.”

“The sighting of the lighthouse represents a moment of safety, a place of sanctuary. They are an irresistible metaphor for artistic endeavor,” Wright said.

Click below to view a BBC Television report on The International Lighthouse Relay, featuring an interview with artist Jonathan Wright:

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The other artists involved in the project are listed with their particular lighthouses at:

Visit Jonathan Wright's website at:


Copyright 2011 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Jonathan Wright's Marconi-inspired artwork. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright. Another view of Jonathan Wright's artwork. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright. The piece being enjoyed on location at The Old Lighthouse at Dungeness. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright. The Old Lighthouse at Dungeness. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright. The sheds where Marconi worked on his early radio transmissions. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 17:37

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