a sculpture that employs lightning as the major component. Real lightning
, which is very rarely seen up close, has the ability to focus and
clear the mind. The work stands 38 feet tall and is essentially a
column with a sphere on the top. Concealed within the sculpture is
a 130,000 watt Tesla Coil. The Tesla Coil is the largest of its kind
in the world. Lightning discharges up to fifty feet in length emanate
in all directions from the top of the sphere.
Electrum project is a collaboration between Greg Leyh, high voltage
engineer from Lightning on Demand (LOD) in San Francisco, and Eric
Orr, sculptor. Leyh represents the scientific aspect that
has allowed Orr to manifest a work of art that is singular in its
power to transform the moment. Orr has combined primary materials
in a number of his water and fire sculptures. The Electrum sculpture
is an evolution of Orr's work towards absolute simplicity. The sculpture
has the sense of pure industrial strength art. The viewer is bathed
in the raw force of nature.
was commissioned by a prominent New Zealand art patron. The work was
installed on his farm in April 1998 outside of Auckland. Pictures
of the contruction, testing and installation effort are available
in the photo galleries below.
video documentary "Electrum" by Alberta Chu is available