Experimenting with UV mediums: An illuminated night sky picture

Introduction

I’ve been wanting to create an illuminated picture for a while now, but I didn’t want to do the usual trick of running a fairy light under a board. I wanted something three dimensional and interesting at its very core; I always wanted to make it 3D, as I think that items which combine 3D and 2D are unnerving in a very interesting way. I decided in the end to use UV reactive mediums. I was originally going to go with something much more elaborate, using invisible paints that fluoresce to give an effect of transitioning from a night sky to daytime; it was found to be too complicated, so I put it aside for a future project. I came up with this in the end:

The UV light from the LED strip appears to have washed out the top half of the image. This doesn’t happen when viewing with the naked eye and probably only arises because the CCD in the camera can detect near-UV.

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Pangaea: A steaming barrel of toxic waste

During the Pangaea Project, the stage that I headed was called Age of Discovery, which focused on the industrial and scientific achievements of Manchester. The issue is I also wanted to highlight the negative impacts of this progress. I didn’t get to explore this area as much as I wanted to, but this is what I managed to do, a steaming barrel of toxic waste:

To start I got a large milk powder can, emptied it (I gave the contents to the office up stairs), spray painted it matte silver, and had an artist team member draw a skull and crossbones in a yellow triangle on it. I then used glittery blue, green, and yellow hot glue to make the drip patterns over the edge, and piled a small amount at the base on a piece of baking paper (to make the effect of a puddle). I then mounted an LED fogger inside. Click “Continue Reading” to see how I could have improved.

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Pangaea: Atom

One of the projects I’m proudest of having worked on was Pangaea Festival 2018. In this I was promoted to the head of a stage, and was given free reign to design and decorate one of the stages, Age of Discovery. One of the items I made to decorate this room was giant spinning atoms:

I made this out of three wiggly metal rings hot glue gunned together at right angles. Four atoms were connected together (varying numbers and colors for other atoms) and tied up with fishing line and suspended from one of the rings. The entire thing was then hung from a disco ball hook to allow it to spin.

Overall this was a success, but I was disappointed on two major points:

  • The three rings were difficult to hold together while gluing
  • The glue wasn’t strong enough to hold them together and many broke before properly being hung up  (if I had more time and money I would have used a scratch stone to identify the metal and used the correct type of solder to join them)
  • Some of the disco ball hooks didn’t work