Lights in the night

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An inadequate photo of the view from my window, showing a flicker of the red lights on the towers at the top of Mount Lofty

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A view of Adelaide at night from Mount Lofty summit – somewhere down there is the light from my street

As I write this, it is night time, and I can see the tv towers on top of Mount Lofty blinking red outside my window in the distance. It is quiet and still, a warm night. The lights have a gently celebratory feel to them.

Looking at them, I am reminded of a fantastic art exhibition I went to years ago in Sydney (here is a link to information about it http://www.mca.com.au/collection/exhibition/503-yayoi-kusama-mirrored-years/ ), of a Japanese artist I had never heard of till that moment – Yayoi Kusama. She was quite old at the time, around 80, and had done experimental work for many years while also suffering from mental illness.

There were a lot of great pieces in this exhibition. The one that springs to mind tonight though was amazing to see – it’s called Fireflies on the Water. People lined up to go through a door into a small room in groups of perhaps 2 or 3 at most. It was a room within a room at the gallery, and you entered and walked down a short catwalk. The room was entirely dark, apart from hundreds of coloured lights hanging at all heights from a mirrored ceiling and reflecting in the mirrored walls and the water that entirely surrounded this little runway on which we were standing. It was incredibly striking and beautiful, to be quite surrounded by light (and darkness) like this. I went back to the lineup to see it more than once, and it remains a wonderful memory of that trip.

It also has me thinking in what might be a bit of a corny way, of a postcard I found years ago, which said ‘when it is dark we see stars’ – this idea is quite common – I just looked it up on Google and there are lots of similar quotes from quite famous people. But still, on a quiet night in Adelaide, and knowing how all of us have our own struggles (including the artist who created this beautiful work), it is still consoling.

yayoi kusama fireflies

An image of the artwork by Yayoi Kusama, called Fireflies on the Water. This picture shows the the little catwalk clearly as well as the reflections.

yayoi kusama with fireflies

Yayoi with Fireflies

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