Eureka The National Children’s Museum in Halifax is calling on kids to come and light up the museum with colourful and crazy light patterns when it opens a brand new digital and mechanical exhibition, Patternarium, which will run for the first six months of 2019.
The exhibition is due to open on December 15 and run until June, giving families an exciting and unique opportunity to operate and move a collection of six intriguing machines, each helping them to discover the hidden patterns that surround us, such as energy and sound waves.
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Aimed primarily at seven to 11 year olds, it will be housed in Eureka’s innovative Spark gallery where visitors can generate vivid light patterns by pedalling bikes, experimenting with a giant kaleidoscope, creating glowing geometric shapes with beams of light, and shining torches to make an artwork on an enormous light painting wall.
Eureka Chief Executive Leigh-Anne Stradeski says: “We always do things differently at Eureka! and we are sure kids and big kids alike will love Patternarium as it offers a fun way to experience and learn about light, patterns and digital art.
“We are thrilled to have worked with a fellow Halifax organisation IOU to create something special that will allow our visitors to create their own unique designs full of blazing colour and exciting sounds.
“We aren’t a traditional museum, which is why spaces like our Spark gallery are perfect for helping young people understand how science, engineering, art and digital technology can combine to create the sort of fun Patternarium offers. We can’t wait for it to capture the imaginations of a whole generation of young people who can come and try it out for themselves.
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During the summer, the Spark gallery hosted Fusion:Adventures in digital art and last year it was home to digiPlaySpace, on its first visit to Europe from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Both were great successes attracting a huge number of visitors through the Museum’s doors.
Patternarium has been funded by Arts Council England and is an evolution of IOU’s existing installation Volatile Light.
This will also be included as part of the exhibition and features an array of LED lights attached to rotating arms, levers and cranks that weave eccentric curves, sweeping arcs and hectic scribbles throughout the darkened space.
This other-worldly experience of moving light and sound produces transfixing overlapping light trails and patterns for children and adults to follow.
David Wheeler, IOU’s Artistic Director, said: “Patternarium is a fantastic playful experience for the whole family. As a progression of Volatile Light, it has been commissioned by Eureka! so that children can explore and play with the ideas around making patterns - re-imagining what we achieved with Volatile Light for a whole new audience. Visitors can simply soak up the magical beauty of the light trails, explore the mechanics and technology behind them, or get more involved and even try their hand at making their own light art.”