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Electric Wharf

Trace Elements

One of Esther's starting points for 'Trace Elements' was thinking about 'imagined spaces' and 'remnants' on the site. During site trials evidence of thousands of meters of live cables under the ground that had to be disconnected and removed were discovered; these cables ran throughout the site and beneath Esther's work. Her final work comprised hundreds of metres of LED strips inset into railway sleepers that are programmed to create a wave like motion of light at the entrance of Electric Wharf. A second section will run along the canal edge and be implemented in line with the development programme for that phase of Electric Wharf, scheduled for completion later in 2006.

The work functions as waymarking, referring to water, and wraps around the development to lead residents and visitors to Electric Wharf to the canal edge. Esther's principle aim was for the work to be fully integrated with the site and for people to discover it as they walk around. Esther worked with a number of professional advisors who supported her in resolving the technical complexities of integrating LED's in such volume into the public realm. Larry Priest worked with Esther and her team to address the real technical difficulties and challenges that arose working with the materials specified. For example, it was far more difficult to drill and route reclaimed timbers, as opposed to new timbers, to insert the LEDs.