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Rain Barrels, Vancouver 2010 Olympics

Rain Barrel is one of three artistic lighting designs that were mounted on lampposts in downtown Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Conscious of Vancouver’s rainy, foggy winters, I created an artwork that accentuated the rhythms of the rain and would glow if enveloped in fog. As well as adding visual interest, the path of 13 Rain Barrels provided way-finding through the downtown.

Each Rain Barrel is a chandelier-like lighting element comprised of 11 blue LEDs strands attached to the top of a lampposts. The LEDs chase downward with white pulses in a random pattern emulating rain. The overall effect is of a shower, but one that combines and occurs with visual variety as one moves down the street.

The Rain Barrels were employed as a way-finding element between Live City Vancouver Sites in the downtown during the Olympics. Together, the Rain Barrels and Light Bars (a single strand of the larger Rain Barrels) created a distinctive blue-lighted path along Hamilton and Mainland Streets from West Georgia Street through to Yaletown and along Pacific Boulevard to David Lamb Park.

Like a good deal of my other artwork, the Rain Barrels mediate between the abstract and the readily identifiable.

My colleague Pierre Poussin created two other series of street lighting elements: Flames, which were featured in Yaletown and Fireworks, which ran along Cambie Street.

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