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Corner Brook artist planning to mould light for her Nuit 150+ installation

Corner Brook artist Renate Pohl poses for a photo with a prototype of the lighting installation she plans to set up as part of the Nuit 150+ art celebration in the city Sept. 30.
Corner Brook artist Renate Pohl poses for a photo with a prototype of the lighting installation she plans to set up as part of the Nuit 150+ art celebration in the city Sept. 30.

Working with light as an art medium can be fleeting by nature, but it’s right up Renate Pohl’s alley.

The assistant professor of technical theatre production at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Corner Brook is currently working on a project that certainly will be ephemeral.

Pohl will be one of the artists participating in the Nuit 150+, a one-night-only artistic street festival to be held after dark on the evening of Sept. 30.

Taking place on West Street, the downtown area of Corner Brook will be transformed into a playground of visual exhibits, dance and theatrical performances from around dusk until about 2 a.m.

Pohl is planning a lighting installation piece that will use reflective screens to illuminate images in the exhibition area. Preparing for it involves considering various elements of physics, along with choice of materials and the placement of both the objects and the light.

“In a way, it’s very scientific, but the endpoint is very magical because you get something that appears and disappears,” she explained.

Pohl will be assisted in the work by her fine arts colleague, technical director Jim Chalmers-Gow, and is also considering using some of the fine arts students at Grenfell. While she hopes to avail of some of the talents of the technical theatre production students, she may integrate actors in the piece.

The exact location of Pohl’s exhibition has yet to be determined. All she knows is that it will likely be at an indoor venue as she needs plenty of darkness to create the effects she has envisioned.

Pohl has attended nuit blanche events in big cities before. In fact, it was attending these other festivals that inspired her to pursue her career of working with light.

“They are very exciting events,” she said. “I’m drawn to lighting and what was great about the nuits I’ve been to is the daylight is stripped away and a lot of the installations I did see had to do with lighting.”

She has no problem putting so much work into something that will only be viewed for just a few hours.

“Sometimes it feels like the Olympics,” she said. “You do all this work and then it gets stripped away and nothing is left behind. But, that’s the joy of working in it too, as long as you document it well.”

Corner Brook’s Nuit 150+ details

- Based on similar nuit blanches held in larger Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Winnipeg

- Will run from around 7 p.m. to about 2 a.m. on the evening of Sept. 30

- So far, about 30 different indoor and outdoor venues throughout the West Street area of downtown Corner Brook will host free artistic events

- Lots of art in different mediums: theatrical, dance, visual, musical/sound, including collaborations of various mediums.

- Map and schedule will be available on day of event to help people navigate the festival’s offerings

- Submissions, venue proposals and sponsorships will likely be accepted throughout the summer and in the days leading up to the event. Anyone interested should contact David Smallwood at the Rotary Arts Centre.

Source: Nuit 150+ organizers

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