Drinks with the Artists

James Tapscott. Light-based Artist, Director of Globelight Inc, Lighting designer, chippie.

Tapscott in his work space, 2017

Tapscott in his work space, 2017

In the somewhat niche world of intricately engineered, site-specific light Installation it isn’t much of a surprise to find James Tapsoctts’ work in far flung festivals, biennales and publications that promote such atypical and high calibre work. In the last few years, Tapscott has featured in the White Night Festival in Slovakia, a residency in New York and and the Japan Alps arts festival in Omachi to name a few.

Tapscott operates on a level that questions as much as it intrigues the viewer, landing him exposure in discerningly alternative media platforms. His Flow series is a series of sites laden with hundreds of LED light balls, strategically placed on flowing water bodies around Victoria. Asked how he managed to do it, Tapscott commented “It wasn’t easy, shooting the lights as they move past the camera, then rushing down river to repeat the process, until I got the result I wanted”.

Carisbrook Falls  part of  Flow Series  LED lights, water

Carisbrook Falls part of Flow Series LED lights, water

The effect of this series of images, doesn’t call for a metaphysical explanation. The materials speak for themselves. The artificial lights are paying homage to the natural contours and current of the earth. The curator though, is time - illuminating the poetic desolation of night, not space.

Ocean Grove  part of  Flow Series  LED lights, water

Ocean Grove part of Flow Series LED lights, water

In June 2017, the director, Mr Abe, has invested heavily in the bi-annual Japanese Alps Arts festival that draws food, water and art into an awe-inspiring setting. Nestled in among mountains, lakes and Japanese pristineness, the festival has chosen some of the leading artists around the world in a site-specific spectacle. Tapscott was picked up via social media and will be the sole representation from Australia.

Nimbus , 2017 light, mist, pumps and nozzles

Nimbus, 2017 light, mist, pumps and nozzles

James has designed a halo of light that is almost baptised in mist. Like Flow, Nimbus requires time to be the catalyst of experience.  

To visit the festival read here

Tapscott is based in Melbourne, Australia and is also currently working on a light installation commission for the Northbridge Bottleyard development in Perth, Western Australia. While I was finishing this article, he had was on his way to China for a potential project. I hope we don't lose him for good!

A carpenter by bi-trade, he also custom designs architectural lighting fixtures, sculptures and photography. Visit his studio here