Chris Levine – Vulture Hound Interview

Mostly recognised for his dazzling light laser artwork and manipulations of images through the usage of light and his collaboration with Grace Jones, Kate Moss and Massive Attack.  Chris Levine, in collaboration with Edenlab, opens the doors to Hastings 1066 by presenting an array of light spectacles and passion. Shown on the 10 September 2016, Levine shows Hastings that the iy_project, the world of light and its spectacle, consists of more than just light. It’s about love, inspiration, people and magic.  On that note, Chris Levine managed to share with us some thoughts and reflections on the project.

Kate Moss: She's Light
Kate Moss: She’s Light

VH: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Chris:  I’m Chris Levine, I’m an artist and I work with light.

VH: It’s a beautiful thing to experiment with light and create light objects and spaces of beauty – where would you say your inspirations have come from to create such divine pieces?

Chris:  ‘Such divine pieces’ you’re most kind… I do try to take my audience into realms beyond the physical and closer perhaps to the source of creation – that source is inside us.

VH: The concept of light and being a light artist can be rather new to some, when understanding how it works – could you explain ..what does being a light artist mean to you?

Chris: I’d hate for this to sound pretentious but it really is a journey of awakening. Light is intrinsic to the way we perceive reality and by working with it, particularly with laser as a very pure form of light, I do get the sense of tuning into a deeper realm of awareness. Its innate within us but somehow the circuits need firing up and it’s to do with energy and flow.

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VH: You worked on many images, manipulations of light. But there is one iconic piece that stands out. The one of Queen Elizabeth II, would you say this was one of your pivotal moments as an artist? Was it exceptionally iconic to manipulate?      

Chris: Lightness of Being, the image of the Queen with eyes closed, says so much and it was a privilege to express it. I was just channeling it.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: The Lightness of Being

VH: In three words – how would you emotionally describe the capturing of the photograph of the Queen? 

Chris: Gratitude. Insight. Love.

VH: Light art ventures back to earlier centuries and can be seen to be prominent, seen within festivals, celebrations, and even religious practices. Would you say we take objects of light today for granted? Has the easy access to technology today has driven innovation and creativity away?  

Chris: Light is a resonantly fascinating phenomena when we consider it or tune into its essence as its part of what we are. For me the use of technology has been a way to make a connection to it deep inside, by way of an emotive response and its primarily a thing of beauty and awe.

iy_project: The Nature of Light and Sound at Hastings 2016
iy_project: The Nature of Light and Sound at Hastings 2016

VH: It must be exciting being part of the ‘ iy_project – The Nature of Light and Sound’ (Hastings 1066 Project) and to work in collaboration. Would you say the opening light of event was a success on the 10th Sep 2016? Did the space work well in executing a powerful array of lights?  

Chris: The project was always going to be a challenge due to its siting and the unknown character of the elements on the night – which turned out to be wild. That also made it exciting because the iy_project is experimental and the audience are involved in the outcome and defining what its all about. I’m very grateful that so many people braved the elements and that they had a good time despite. The reaction was inspiring.

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VH : Thank you, do you have any last minute plans in store for us to look forward to? Or are you going to follow wherever the light takes you?

Chris: The iy_project and developing work in sound and vision is the next chapter of my work as an artist and I’m so excited about where its heading. I do feel inspired to take it as far as I can. Watch this deep space.

Grace Jones Superstar
Grace Jones Superstar

Additionally, a special thanks to ‘Root 1066’, an International Arts and Culture Festival that marks 950 years since the Battle of Hastings, for supporting Chris Levine’s light show and breathing light into his vision.  For more details about ‘Root 1066’, please visit: www.1066contemporary.com.

Additional links to learn more about Chris Levine:

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/iamchrislevine

Wired article:  http://www.wired.co.uk/article/chris-levine-geometry-of-truth

Creative Review: https://www.creativereview.co.uk/glastonbury-to-stage-stunning-chris-levine-light-show-in-honour-of-david-bowie/

Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2009/aug/19/photography-chris-levine-best-shot