Hamish Southcott, Firstlight (ART, OBJECTS 2021)

Firstlight marries recycled rimu with meticulous craftsmanship in a refined sculptural form. Firstlight celebrates place and planet and serves as a striking statement lighting. Two key components make up Firstlight; vertical slats and a skeleton support structure. The slats are screwed to the skeleton, in a robust modular system that allows easy repair and relocation. The vertical slats have been carved to reflect the landscape’s valleys and ridges. To produce a seamless landscape, the slats were clamped together and a disc grinder, fitted with a wood angle grinding disc was used for the carving. This produced a raw base refined with sanding. The smooth, tactile finish required arduous hand sanding due to the complex curves. The slats were then screwed to the plywood skeleton before being oiled with Osmo Polyx-Oil, selected as a natural alternative to polyurethane. Firstlight was installed using stainless steel cable, which allows it to float, seemingly defying gravity. New Zealand is one of the first places to see the sunrise each day, inspiring the name Firstlight. Firstlight's golden glow provides a real sense of drama.