05 August 2011
12 MONTHS OF NEON LOVE
Victoria Lucas and Richard William Wheater
12 Months of Neon Love is a collaboration between Victoria Lucas and Richard William Wheater, and began on St Valentines day 2011. The project is formed using a sequence of twelve lyrical statements, borrowed from well-known songs that feature the many configurations of love. Presented over a year in large red neon text, twelve expressions of intimacy, adoration and heartbreak are visually re-presented to an unsuspecting audience going about their everyday lives.
Lyrics allow us to explore the world and ourselves through the sentiments of another. Love in particular is an emotion so complex it is often difficult to define, and love songs provide a way to articulate the emotional intangibility that the feeling evokes. It is thus not uncommon for people who are in love to compile musical compilations for one another, as a way to describe or express part of themselves.
Musicians and lyricists have been inspired to use their creativity as a way to communicate deep affection, passion and desire for centuries. These poetic interpretations of rapture bestow a rare euphoric sensation that is evocative and poignant for those in love; whilst some love songs strive to make sense of the agonies provoked by unrequited love, lost love and abandonment. By touching on something universal, the work strives to initiate a thought or memory in the viewer concerning their own experiences of love; as well as providing a heartfelt sentiment for them to take with them on their journey.
12 Months of Neon Love is a project that relies on the memory of sound for it’s success. The audience are invited to emotionally connect to each statement, presenting a collective experience to be enjoyed as part of the audiences everyday reality. In this sense, the work becomes performative, forming a series of moments where lovers stop to kiss under the red glow, or viewers from the train smile to themselves on the way home as they remember the tune.
Walter Benjamin stated that ‘living means leaving traces’. The ephemeral nature of the project, in relation to its temporal existence, echoes the feeling of love that lives between two people. When the power is turned of and the lights go out, the work will only continue to exist in the photographs captured and the fading memory of the people who experienced it.
12 Months of Neon Love can be viewed from the train, and is situated north-east of the train line on the south side of Wakefield Westgate Station. You can also visit the artwork, which is installed above Neon Workshops. 12 Months of Neon Love is lit between 5am - 11am, and 3pm - 11pm.
Neon Workshops, 70B George Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1DL.
For more information visit www.12monthsofneonlove.blog.com
We are indebted to the expertise of neon maker Julia Bickerstaff at Neon Workshops.
All Images © Victoria Lucas and Richard William Wheater
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