People often ask me “Why do you light your pieces?”

I grew up afraid of the Boogeyman. I really was pretty sure he was waiting for me under the bed or in the closet or basement. So, I started lighting up my room with Christmas lights, and old fixtures I got out of the trash. These makeshift lighting scenarios evolved into altar-like configurations, and ultimately got baked into how I make my sculpture. I’m still concerned about the Boogeyman. I’m pretty sure the light I use in my work does more than keep away the demons.

The lights I use are essentially landing lights – just like you might see on an airport runway. If you want more love, more positive energy, positive forces, etc. you can’t just sit around waiting for them to arrive. Light up the runway! Make it clear that you want them to land. Burning in your soul is an eternal semaphore. Each one of us is a lighthouse. We are more than just beacons to keep the ships from crashing in the night. We are sophisticated transmitters. Your heart is beating away, firing signals throughout your body and soul – almost 5,000 times in an hour, over 100,000 times a day. Do you really think the energy pulsing through you is random? It isn’t. Channel it. Join up with the Love Army. Upload your signal up to the Intergalactic Love Channel. The lights in my work are my semaphores. I’m broadcasting every night.

Besides, don’t you find the antiseptic lights in galleries and museums to be annoying? So much (too much!) gallery light just washes out art, and makes it static and sterile. I refuse to participate in that nonsense. Light is such a huge part of any piece of art, why leave it to others to decide how your work is revealed? Your own light can be revealing. Reveal your own light. See what forces you can bring down to land in your life.

Wolfram Alderson