Using light as a sculptural material, LIGHT KEEPER draws from lighthouse lenses and analog projection technology to create waves of rainbow light and a Moon Clock beamed onto the urban porch of Aitken Place Park. Taking its name from the keepers who maintain lighthouses, the installation speaks to light as a medium for sending messages across vast dark spaces, helping vessels find their way, and signalling danger or change ahead. During the day, the artwork stands as a mirrored obelisk, reflecting the surrounding environment of the park space, awaiting the sunset. After dark, this public artwork illuminates, inviting viewers to bask in its glow.


The lenses and optical mechanisms used for LIGHT KEEPER were created in-house by Caitlind Brown, Wayne Garrett, and Studio North. When it comes right down to it, we were always going to have to tune the optics of LIGHT KEEPER onsite in Toronto. The distance from the lens to the concrete, the angle of the moon as it moves, the speed the rainbows cross the concrete, the specific wiring, the final programming – all of this needed to be done onsite at night, carefully tailored to the geometries and environment of the surrounding park.


We met LIGHT KEEPER in Toronto for install, and saw Aitken Place Park (in its finished state) for the first time. After conceptualizing the site for so long, it was fascinating to be there in person. We were excited to get to work. Great Lake Scenic (F&D’s sister company) installed the structure of the artwork,…


The structure of LIGHT KEEPER was fabricated by F&D Scene Changes, with stainless steel by Reggin Industries. Like every other element of the artwork, the structure went through a series of designs before landing on an open-faced, mirrored, prism-like form. We were able to test a low-fi prototype of this design (titled Device for Summoning…


With LIGHT KEEPER, we began by considering light, sight, and site, especially in relation to Lake Ontario (a stone’s throw from the public work’s final resting place). Lake Ontario is one of a handful of lakes in the world large enough to experience the pull of the moon, transpiring in tides – albeit, very small tides – a mere 1,640 km3 of lake water drawn to the gravitational pull of earth’s nearest celestial body: the moon.


Despite our long-time interest in optics, developing LIGHT KEEPER came with its fair share of complexity. Our lens is based on the beautiful fresnels seen in lighthouses, but its intention is opposite: instead of focusing light and beaming it over a great distance, it divides and refracts light, moving it in rainbow waves across the…


Drawing from lighthouse lenses and analog projection technologies, LIGHT KEEPER deconstructs traditional optics to create a moon clock, rainbow waves, and a prism tower in Aitken Place Park.


The site of LIGHT KEEPER is a new public park space on the post-industrial shoreline of Toronto. According to Waterfront Toronto, “Aitken Place Park will be a multi-purpose space connecting Bayside to the broader East Bayfront community. The park will include places for children and pets to play, as well as quiet spots to relax…


“Light is a temporal phenomenon, arising from burning stars; a surprise in the darkness of space. Light is the greatest magic of all, as it is the source of all enchantment. Without light, no life. Without life, no creation, no art, no architecture, no vision, no expression.” ~ Richard Rogers, as quoted in Lightopia: Volume I After…


When developing our light-based concepts + materials for LIGHT KEEPER, we were fascinated by the possibility of creating large-scale projections using analog technology. For many years, we’ve been fascinated with the spectral possibilities of fresnel lenses, first through overhead projection lenses, and then through the large-scale glass lenses found in lighthouses. While we were considering…


At the beginning of our collaborative process, we were just interested in working together. Our team is comprised of artists and architectural designers, approaching public art with a shared interest in public space.