Installations / Thread

A subtle Installation Art that makes the public contemplate movement and patterns of light art in space.

Title: Thread
Date: 2014
Dimensions: 4m x 4m
Material: Hand sanded fibre optics and programmed light
First exhibited: Melt, Splinter and Thread', Cube Gallery, Phoenix, Leicester. 2014
Funding: Arts Council England, supported by the IOCT at De Montfort University

'Thread' is an installation art created by Esther Rolinson as part of a trilogy with 'Melt' and 'Splinter'. It is an ephemeral architecture based on a series of contemporary pencil drawings, translated into a three-dimensional artwork. It might be seen as the reverberation of a blast of bright light as it dissipates into nothingness.


It is a delicate, animated mesh that the audience can walk underneath and look up through. The media artist has created an immersive mixed-media artwork with fine old material and new technology. 'Thread' is composed of sanded fibre optics attached to programmed LEDs. Each fibre is tensioned through perforated boards that locate all the lines in geometric formations. The light emits from the fibre optic where the surface is abraded.


The process of ‘drawing’ into the illuminated structure by sanding the fibres takes place in the gallery with the set of the system developed by Esther Rolinson. Creating simple rules, like ‘draw a straight line, followed by a curved line, followed by a straight line’, she can dissociate her actions from conscious thinking to focus on producing work instinctively. It is like a cloud of fine illuminated dust appearing slowly to the viewer as their eyes get used to the dark.

When everything has gone, there is only dust climbing into the sunlight.

The Victoria & Albert Museum and the Computer Arts Society Collection acquired the drawings that originated Thread installation art

'Thread' is also the title of a series of experimental contemporary drawings that led to the installation art 'Thread' shown at Cube Gallery Leicester, 2014. The print and the original drawing are held in the V&A Collection, London and Computer Arts Society Collection.

This mixed-media artwork is part of the series 'Melt, Splinter and Thread'. Esther Rolinson created this series over a two-year studio practice and research period in collaboration with artist programmer Dave Everitt, artist programmer Sean Clark and Dr Graeme Stuart and creative technologist Luke Woodbury.