LED Water Bottle Sculptures Illuminate Medieval Cathedral in England


Photo: Bruce Munro

The cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, England have been transformed into a maze of 69 towers. Two sides of them are now filled with 15,000 water bottles that change colour in synch with choral music.

The new eco stained glass windows for the historic church -- which dates from the 13th century -- were created by artist and light designer Bruce Munro. What a place to visit over the next month.
Photo: Bruce Munro

The 69 towers are made of 269 water bottles each. Sadly they could not use recycled water bottles because they found that they weren't strong enough. Hopefully they will be able to recycle the 15,000 bottles after the piece is taken down. The 30 tons of water in all of the bottles will be poured back into the ground around the cathedral, where it is usually used for the cathedral's font. They also used laser cut recycled composite wood.

Fibre optic cables are threaded through each tower which are linked back to a special LED projector and are constantly changing colour as they respond to the sound. They used 69,000 metres of fibre optics. The entire installation will be using less electricity than a household kitchen. The music is all choral music played from hidden speakers, with many of the pieces performed by the Salisbury Cathedral Choir.


Photo: Bruce Munro

Visitors wander through the towers which have formed a maze. The best time to visit is in the late afternoon once the light has started to fade, or at night, when the changing colours can be seen more clearly from across the Cloisters.


Photo: Bruce Munro

The town of Salisbury is built on the site of five rivers coming together so the water aspect is very appropriate. The artist has been thinking about the project for thirty years. As he writes: "The inspiration for Water-Towers can be traced back to my reading a book called Gifts of Unknown Things by Lyall Watson which describes Tia, a young girl who possesses the magical gift of seeing sounds in colour. Years later this idea of synesthesia inspired me to create a colourful, watery, musical maze."

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Tags: Architecture | Artists | Exhibits

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