Stars to Sand

The ‘Stars to Sand’ installation has been inspired by the phenomenon of the ‘Ice Halo’ – when tiny crystals of ice in the sky create huge halos of light and rainbows across the sky . The original starting point had been the study of snowflakes and their formation and extreme diversity, their magical quality and luminescence. This led to a closer study of prism shaped crystals and the refraction of light.

Arctic Halo

An Ice Halo forming around the sun in the Arctic


The intention of the crystal wall is to bring the halos and rainbows ‘from the stars down to the sand’ – to make that ethereal and ephemeral experience into something more tangible and longer lasting yet equally beautiful and on a human scale.  Ice halos and rainbows are elusive and out of reach; this installation is designed to make them accessible, to immerse the spectator and participant in a mystical experience, to place them within the rainbow.

This is achieved through a wall of water prisms that create a time based experience by dispersing the light of the sun into fantastic awe-inspiring rainbow patterns at certain times within the day – sunrise, high noon and sunset.

During the night a simple lighting rig is used to project moving beams of light onto the wall to produce specific refraction patterns across the Playa.  At night these light patterns can involve human interaction by the inclusion of movement sensors to create a responsive crystal wall that lights up and projects rainbows based on the movement of people around it.

It will also create the unexpected illusion of a wall of ice in the desert, a paradox, as if a rolling wave had frozen on a beach and become a crystalline form.

Burning Man, day time render.Josh Haywood

Burning Man. Sunset Rainbows Render. Josh Haywood

Sunset rainbows

Burning Man Night time Render. Dancing Rainbows. Josh haywood

Night time dancing rainbows

Minute crystals sampled from atmosphere during halo formation

Minute halo forming crystals

sunhalobirds_wilson_big

A halo forming around the moon

Model1. Josh Haywood

Prism model

Model2. Josh Haywood

Model3 Josh Haywood

Light experiments

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