Invisible, 2018, is an interactive light installation. The work is the result of a particularly bad day as a wheelchair user, of being sat on, battered by oversized handbags and wheeled to one side without permission.
The words which sprang to mind were, “What am I? Invisible?”
The installation consists of several reclaimed ceiling lights which have been converted to lightboxes with the original fluorescent tubes still intact. Brightly coloured Perspex panels replace the old plastic, prismatic lenses. The word ‘invisible’ has been lasercut into each one. The lights are connected to one of the 4 channels of a control box which reacts to vibrations. Sounds and footsteps will trigger a change of lights. The smooth-rolling wheelchair has no effect. It is ‘invisible’ to the sensors.
When it made its inaugural appearance at the Fine Art masters degree show at Teesside University, visitors responded with their own stories of disability, loneliness and invisible illness. Not only does it show the power of art to start a conversation but the unpredictability of what people will really see.