The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have commissioned lighting designer and installation artist Bruce Munro to create an installation for a new space at London Zoo.
Munro's piece installed in a staircase in the Clore Rainforest Building. The staircase becomes a third space joining the rainforest area above to the downstairs Nightlife area below, thus forming one unified visitor destination.
Munro's "Twilight Shower" installation is a magical snaking shower of light. Taking advantage of the height and width available, Munro created a space which becomes a destination in itself.
Dawn and dusk are in-between times, where most animals start or end their activities. In France the phrase "Entre chien et loup" (between dog and wolf) describes this eerie, transformational half-light. Hushed silences overcome the landscape as the bustle of day draws to an end and time hangs, suspended, waiting for nocturnal happenings. There are animals that are active during this time, foraging for food, embarking on their daily migration or calling for a mate.
In this blue-grey world, bats flock, sending hypersonic signals reverberating around them, before getting down to the business of finding their next meal. Aye-Ayes begin their darkened hunt for food by tapping trees, sounding out tasty grubs. Habitats creek and groan as they warm up or cool.
A double height staircase is the perfect opportunity for a light sculpture to prepare the visitors for the night zone experience, taking them from the active bustle of the daylight exhibit to the quiet, still, nightlife area.
Suspended from above in the stairwell, Munro's "Twilight Shower" consists of 12 interconnected ceiling plinths, from which a total of 864 suspended clear tear-drop diffusers will hang at the end of optic fibres.
The piece cascades down the stairwell with a maximum drop of 500 mm, illuminated by two 150w metal Halide projectors.