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Light Rails: An illuminated underpass by Bill FitzGibbons.

Photo credits: REV Birmingham, Hal Yaeger and Bill FitzGibbon.

Underpasses tend to look gloomy, dangerous, and smell like toilets. Those are the nice ones! Others are much more colourful, and should probably be avoided at all costs.

But the residents of downtown Birmingham, Alabama, are attracted to one of their most colourful underpasses, for exhilarations of a cultural kind.

Artist Bill FitzGibbons is known for colouring tough urban townscapes. This landscape is transformed with an overdose of exuberance using a computer controlled LED lighting system. The installation elevates an interstitial space into an attraction in its own right.

It is a very powerful illustration of the transformative power of art. Perhaps we can think of it as the urban, industrial equivalent of the stained glass window.

Gratitude to the Contemporist.

 

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DETAIL 12/2019
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