British artist Ivan Black has a deep-rooted passion for kinetics and a talent for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. This gift is perfectly illustrated in Nebula Hive, a chandelier for the 21st century – a luminous vortex of kinetic energy a metre high by 750mm wide that slowly transforms into different shapes. The M.A.D.Gallery in Dubai has exclusivity on a limited edition of 18 hand-polished and nickel-plated Nebula Hive pieces, created by Ivan Black through his lighting sculpture brand INK.
Nebula Hive has an integrated motor that initiates a burst of power, setting the chain mechanism in motion. That mechanism is the spine of the piece; vertebrae-like connected components govern the succession of seductive movements, a playful and hypnotic performance with illuminated and outstretched brass arms even when the motor is off. As the mechanical energy dissipates, Nebula Hive continues to morph into new shapes before settling back into its lustrous original state.
Nebula Hive connects to a proprietary iOS app to control luminosity, speed, direction, and patterns of rotation with the swipe of a finger. The app also has a programme-setting function to automate this.
“I’m always looking to put the movement of the work front and centre,” says Ivan Black. “I’m fascinated by natural geometry, the mathematics that underpin and define the natural world; spirals and fractals exist everywhere in nature, these geometric archetypes have inspired and informed my ideas for patterns of form and motion.
“The addition of light to my kinetic sculptures opened up new dimensions of artistic expression, but also new challenges in design and construction. I had to learn about electronics and research a range of new techniques and materials to bring the ideas to life.”
Nebula Hive contains more than 2,000 bespoke components, each machined from solid brass and then hand-polished and nickel-plated prior to assembly. LEDs are carefully encapsulated in individual clear acrylic spheres.
Construction takes approximately 12 weeks in total, mostly due to the time-consuming process of hand-assembling the kinetic work.
M.A.D.Gallery Dubai is in Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz.