Every flower is handmade using a thermoplastic material known to the electoral trade as “heat shrink tubing”. The assembled flowers are then soldered to a CR2032 coin cell battery holder, which is then attached to the wall using push pins. The flowers all have switches, and extra batteries are supplied through the duration of the show.
Although every flower is handmade, they all follow the form of a genus Trillium. A delicate woodland perennial, native to North America and China–much like the parts used in the flowers. I selected the Trillium genus because of the beauty in its simple design. Following scientific nomenclature rules, I named this “species”, Trillium lumino. Lumino is Latin for “brighten with color or, to light up”. The simplicity of the original form allowed me to apply the electrical components while keeping true to the flower’s form. However the simplicity in anatomy also allowed me design several “varieties” mimicking natural variations from research into the genus as whole, as well as field studies of local specimens. A full installation utilizing all the made flowers will display 72 flowers within which are 6 garden varieties: a double petaled as well as a triple petaled variety; a striated pattern; a miniature variety; a narrow leafed form; a double blossoms variety which is highly exciting; and several examples of “curly legged” forms. Some of the flowers even exhibit pollinated seed pods.
The full installation is a field of flowers (or a row of flowers) <video link>. Each flower cascades in color at its own rate and battery use. As a whole, it’s a field of glittering rainbow flowers. But the vision is momentary, as each flower only has enough battery life to last approximately eight hours. The installation ages right before your eyes. Then, flower by flower, the field of dazzling light becomes a ghostly field of petals as the batteries run out, one by one. Although the batteries can be replaced, the inevitable will come again and again, until even the LEDs fail (approximately 13.7 years).
Simply put, this installation is a commentary on the frailty of life even if it is just a bunch of silly flowers that light up.