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Light reading: Our review of Between Dark & Light

Ruth McDermott and Ben Baxter have just published their new book, and it explores the duo’s stellar career as light artists. A must-read for those interested in light art, it provides the opportunity to experience the experiential.

Light reading: Our review of Between Dark & Light

A new 146-page book release from the University of Technology Sydney ePress explores the journey of two of Australia’s most creative light art practitioners, Ruth McDermott and Ben Baxter. Drawing on their experience and ever-present passion for light art from 2009 to 2021, this book reveals the journey to create and thrill through their many site-specific installations within Sydney and its surrounds.

The book is composed of an essay on the history of light art, commentary from collaborators and more than 100 photographs documenting the conceptual life span of 18 artworks. It is also a reflection of the duo’s artistic collaboration over the 12 years and talks of the evolving nature of their work.

McDermott and Baxter have been at the forefront of the light art movement, and as pioneers of urban LED light art, they have helped to shape and define the medium as it is today. McDermott and Baxter established their practice, mcdermott baxter, in 2009 having enjoyed successful solo careers as an academic, designer, lighting designer and design teacher respectively.

Between Dark & Light review

Joining together brought a multiplicity of different and like skills to their practice that has infused their work with their own particular spectacular style. The book documents this journey with a special focus on the technical aspects of creating, mounting and displaying large-scale light installation works since they first participated in the Sydney Vivid Festival in 2009.

Between Dark & Light explores installations within four areas and contexts – Landscape, Interior, Waterside and Urban. Projects include many from Vivid Sydney, corporate commissions and solo exhibitions. The double-page image spreads bring the installations to life as the text explains the thinking behind, and the execution of each project. McDermott and Baxter also give their individual thoughts on each of the projects.

Between Dark & Light: the light art of Ruth McDermott & Ben Baxter has been written and edited by McDermott and Baxter themselves. Published by University of Technology Sydney ePress.

mcdermott baxter

UTS Library

Ruth McDermott and Ben Baxter

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