Tesla Electric Portrait

by AMBIENCE on February 26, 2016

Tesla is a lighting installation created as homage to electrical pioneer and ‘father of modern technology’ – Nikola Tesla. It was produced as a collaboration between ambience and graphic artist Duro Cubrilo.

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This was a real labour of love done over many months with the concept execution being a complex task for what in essence is a very simple technique. Built using 759 energy efficient LED globes mounted to a grid, various mask diameters were perfectly measured around the curve of each globe – allowing exact light levels to escape at different sizes. When viewed as a collective the dots recreate an iconic image of Nikola Tesla.


The concept behind the use of ‘traditional’ shaped globes that are often associated with Edison is a reference to the infamous rivalry between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla; with Tesla being largely unrecognised for a number of his groundbreaking and thoroughly awesome achievements while Edison (often unfairly) got much kudos. Tesla is designed to be engaged with by the viewer when both illuminated and dormant.

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Photography: Ben Glezer

Electrical: Matt Watson & team from MPW

Thanks to master painter Stuart Adcock for his painting prowess.