Light Reef, 2019
Mosaic of reflection holograms, 50 x 60 cm
Edition of two
Betsy Connors’ new work Light Reef takes inspiration from the natural breathtaking sculptures of living corals, and expresses that inspiration through the medium of holography, to bring attention to the threat of a future without these fragile landscapes. She created models of the living coral animals, over many months, for Light Reef as well as worked with a coral specialist to acquire naturally occurring dead corals. She then assembled miniature reefs for making the holograms. As with some of her previous environmentally inspired works she designed a different style of framing to display the work - holographic mosaics. The ancient form of mosaics dates back to the 3rd millennium BC beginning with pebbles and stones and later with handcrafted tiles and glass. For Light Reef, up to two hundred hologram tiles, ranging in size from two point five centimeters to ten centimeters, form a fifty by sixty-centimeter work. There is a strong similarity between the refractive underwater light of shallow reefs and that of single-color reflection holograms as well as a connection with the patterned, textured, corals to the mosaics of the reefs. The familiarity of the mosaic form in art invites viewers, new to the medium of holography, to connect to the evolving relationships of art to technology.
It’s difficult to capture the stunning beauty and uniqueness of real coral reefs and to look beyond their beauty to the important role they play in the ecosystem of our planet. This work is an homage to the living landscapes of the underwater animals and to the hope of their survival.
Betsy Connors, Light Reef
Working with laser light as a medium heightens my connection, through the work of art and light, to an appreciation, awareness, and concern for the natural world.
Betsy Connors, (b. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) artist and educator has long been associated with the cutting-edge research and experimentation in light and holography at MIT. An alumna, MS '86, and former lecturer 1990 - 2006, at the MIT Media Labs’ Spatial Imaging
Group, Connors also founded ACME Holography, one of the only private holography labs in the Boston area. She was also the MIT Museum’s first holography curator and educator when the Museum acquired its now famous international collection of holograms. Connors has exhibited
her work throughout the world, and has won major awards and fellowships during her career. Her work is in collections in Japan, Washington D.C., New York City, and Boston.