The artwork unveiled this week on top of Signal Hill by Sun International called the “Sunstar” is designed by artist Chris Swift and forms part of a project themed “the PharoX”. It is a five storey high tetrahedron star shape that incorporates old fencing reclaimed from the Robben Island prison. The structure is lit by using global leaders in LED lighting NTL Lemnis Pharox brand of LED’s. This result is a spectacular cohesion of structure and light in the form of an “X” shape viewed from different angles, thereby serving as new beacon for the whole of Cape Town to see. At night the Illuminated structure is seen clearly by incoming aircraft, as well as citizen and visitors to Cape Town as far as 25km’s away.
The design, a third expose` where the artist has collaborated with local African subsidiary NTL Lemnis Africa by incorporating the use of their Pharox LED’s in his artworks, delivers a significant display of many symbolisms continuing on the theme of using our past to move to future, representing a crossroad in the South African democracy and the significance of combining sustainable energy solutions and historical pieces – the result is sure to be a piece that will draw a lot of attention and discussion over the coming months. Most importantly it serves as a reminder of our past and the significance that Signal Hill played to those incarcerated at the infamous Robben Island.
Previous projects by Swift include a Christmas tree using the same fencing, discarded cable drums and Pharox LED bulbs in 2012 at the South Africa Museum in Cape Town, as well as, a successful art exhibition by the artist using Pharox LED tubes with the theme “The Void: Positive/Negative spaces” held in 2013.
From a sustainable energy and technology use perspective – the combination of using the low energy consumption, high performance and weatherproof Pharox LED strip lights with a completely off-grid PV generation platform engineered and provided by well-known Eldo Energy, enables the artwork to shine during night without consuming any grid supplied electricity, and with minimal impact on the surreal surrounding of Signal Hill.
Francois van Tonder, CEO of NTL Lemnis Africa: “ As global leaders in the field of LED lighting since 2005, it pleases us tremendously that our Pharox brand of LED’s feature in this and other artworks, the technology was selected based on our reputation for high quality and high performance LED products with very low energy consumption. As a company credited with the first mass rollout of LED bulbs in Europe of nearly 3 million Led bulbs initiated by our holding company in 2009, as well as the achievement of a world-first LED Carbon Credit offset project accredited here in South Africa in 2012, our interests lie not only in bringing excellent LED lighting technology to the South African consumer, but also to contribute meaningfully in the non-commercial sphere. Further as part of our sustainable social investment initiatives and as a result of this project, we will continue with our donation of Pharox LED bulbs and lighting products to various projects like the Masikule PHP 800 (People’s housing Project) started in Khayelitsha in 2012 - we also dearly thank everyone involved in the project.”The Sunstar sponsored by Sun International and forms part of Cape Town’s World Capital Design 2014 initiative, and in collaboration with the City of Cape town and the Robben Island Fence Company and Trust, will serve to be a beacon of hope – and of light over the coming months.