Limelight Illumination. Charles Danby & Rob Smith, Cardiff Contemporary Llangattock Lime Kiln, 2016


Limelight 2016, live broadcast and performance commissioned by PEAK Arts for Cardiff Contemporary, 2016.
Performers: Ed Lawrenson & Georgia Bates.

Limelight is produced by heating quicklime to 1200ºc at which point it emits an intense white light- a phenomena that has historically been used in both theatrical lighting and land surveying.

Charles Danby and Rob Smith used a limelight illumination to create a live event that highlighting lime’s materiality, its origins in prehistory, and its entanglement with human histories and interrelationships with landscapes as it has been extracted, refined, distributed and transformed. The illumination of lime kiln in Llangattock was streamed live to Cardiff where it created an event space in which performed actions with two performers, video projectors, mirrors and screens explored the material sites of lime in the Black Mountains National Park; the quarries where limestone is extracted, the places where it is transformed to quicklime, and where lime continues to be active in the contemporary landscape.



Performance Stills from Lime Light 2016




Limelight: A paper delivered with and through material lime.
Presented at Postcards From The Anthropocene conference, Edinburgh University

The presentation of the paper becomes an event space, created through a video of a limelight illumination that is played back through an aggregate machine of quicklime, computer, sensors, wires and projector. The paper begins when water is added to quicklime, reconfiguring its molecules and triggering an exothermic reaction. A sensor in a bowl monitors the rising temperature and controls the speed of the video’s playback accordingly, accelerating and deaccelerating with the material’s behaviour. The duration of the video and so the paper is formed moment-to-moment with the changing temperature of the quicklime. The duration of the paper is uncertain, and ends when the video playback – through the quicklime - is complete and the limelight expires.



Exhibited at:

Postcards from the Anthropocene, Publication (forthcoming)
Granular: The Material Properties of Noise, Greenwich University 2018
Postcards from the Anthropocene, Edinburgh University 2017
Polyspace. Newbridge Projects, Newcastle 2016
Limelight, Cardiff Contemporary Commission 2016
PEAK Research Residency Crickhowell, Wales 2016