Lightwaves Salford





By Alison Smith and Matt Collins

Supported by Stellar Projects and MIMA

A large glowing orb with a highly textured surface hand-crafted from recycled plastic, Valkyrie responds to voices. A thousand LEDs within the sculpture create ethereal lightscapes when triggered by a voice, sending ripples of light across the floating sphere.

Inspired by the Aurora Borealis, and named after the Norse legend associated with them, Valkyrie mimics the energy exchange which takes place when solar winds hit the Earth’s atmosphere, while also exploring the shifting meanings of this natural phenomena, which moves between science and spirituality.

The piece invites viewers to converse with it to create their own Northern Lights, converting the energy from their voices into light and colour. Valkyrie’s surface creates an organic, other-worldly appearance, referencing the frozen north where the Aurora can be seen, and the chaotic yet ordered structures of suns, planets and other celestial bodies.

Artist Alison Smith creates immersive light installations and lit sculptures using recycled materials. For Valkyrie, Alison worked with artist and technologist Matt Collins, who works across a wide range of disciplines, supporting creatives to develop, fabricate and install projects, artworks and installations.