Lightfall by Nathan Whitford is a public artwork on display in the City of Mississauga’s Hazel McCallion Central Library.

Nathan Whitford, 2023
Two suspended LED light installations
Hazel McCallion Central Library, 301 Burnhamthorpe Road West

Video courtesy of the artist

About the artwork

Libraries are vital spaces for the retention and transfer of knowledge, both in the volumes they hold, and their value as places of solitary study and group collaboration. Light is often used as a metaphor for knowledge, and libraries offer a place of such illumination; enlightening those who share in the knowledge on offer.

Lightfall is a pair of light installations suspended within the two atria of the Hazel McCallion Central Library. The installations are created with an arrangement of LED fixtures that are hung in a spiral form extending within the voids of the two atria. The light in Lightfall animates with smooth flowing motion of white and light colour throughout the entire installation. The motion and flow of the lighting depicts the flow of knowledge and illumination that happens within the Library, representing knowledge as a fluid-like motion similar to the flow of water.

The animation is closely mirrored between the two different installations so that the two halves to the installation seem rooted in symbiosis: living and responding to the knowledge that feeds them, and visualizing the illumination that happens within the Library.

The arrangement of the fixtures in Lightfall attempt to mimic the way objects often form in nature. The hanging fixtures are distributed according to a dictated form, or set of rules (the spiral shape), but the placement of each fixture deviates a little from the base spiral so the whole form is not immediately revealed to the viewer.

About the artist

Artist Nathan WhitfordNathan Whitford is an award-winning artist and lighting designer, as well as co-founder of Urban Visuals. He has designed, developed and installed innovative projects in experiential art and design for clients around the world. Much of his work explores how light, in its many forms, can be used to alter our perceptions and experiences.

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More information

This project is being commissioned as part of the renovation of Hazel McCallion Central Library. For more information, visit the Project Page.

Photography by Tori Lambermont