Art & Design


Bruce Ramus’ Helix Tree

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Internationally renowned lighting expert Bruce Ramus has been setting hearts aglow this June in Federation Square. Ramus’ 13 metre high and 17 metre wide steel sculpture named ‘Helix Tree’ has been the centrepiece for inaugural Light in Winter festival which finishes this weekend.

A self taught artist, Ramus developed a love for music and began working with bands, eventually lighting the way for acts such as David Bowie, U2, REM and Bryan Adams.

“I fell into it like, one does” Ramus tells us. “I lit different bands for almost 30 years. I would design the visuals for their shows which supports what they are trying to express as an artist.”

Ramus says he found his niche in visuals, and enjoyed expressing himself through more abstract than literal means.

Sourcing inspiration from other light artists, painters and sculptors as well as his six year old son, Ramus aims to produce visually integrated precincts, through the use of light, sculpture and digital media.

“When I moved to Australia about 7 years ago I decided to come off the road and do more public art and public realm permanent installations and that’s what led me to this Federation Square commission.”

The Helix Tree, which took three months to design, two months to construct and 10 days to erect is a sculpture that encourages passers by to ‘sing up’.

“The light in the tree is sound responsive. Every night at dusk a choir comes to sing to the tree and the light on the tree responds to their voices. We developed algorithms to make the lighting controls of the tree respond to sound.”

The 2013 Light in Winter Festival wraps up this weekend so don’t miss your chance to sing to the Helix Tree.
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