Sky Drawings (Night, Day) is a new video work by Layla Curtis, commissioned by VIVID. The work is a dual video projection depicting the activity of air traffic in the sky. One projection shows the inky black background of the night’s sky filled with the blinking lights of overhead air traffic moving across the frame. The other projection reveals the clear blue sky of the day, across which the residual, white vapour trails of aeroplanes traverse the surface in a gradual obliteration of the screen.
The two moving images are projected back to back on a double-sided screen making it physically impossible for the viewer to experience the night and day footage simultaneously, in a conscious mirroring of the natural phenomenon of the day/night cycle.
Each projection is taken from one section of sky, and records the routes and migration of its inhabitants and visitors and has a particular resonance in the UK, both in relation to the mobility afforded by air travel and our multi-cultural society.
This new project continues Curtis’ examination of location and mobility whilst extending her research into the use of technologies as a mechanism for 'drawing'.
The new work references the experimental film work of Len Lye and Stan Brackhage whilst exploring current themes and issues within contemporary artistic practice and discourse, particularly contemporary artist’s film and video installation, interdisciplinary practice and the interrogation of geography and place (political, social and historical).
 As seen in the ‘Cab Gallery Project’, 2001 and ‘Message in a Bottle from Ramsgate to the Chatham Islands, 2004
Sky Drawings (Night, Day) was exhibited as part of a solo exhibition of Curtis’ work at New Art Gallery Walsall, 21 July to 10 September 2006, which was developed in collaboration with VIVID. This work is now available for hire, to view this work please contact email@example.com
VIVID has produced a small booklet to commemorate Sky Drawings (Night, Day) featuring an essay by David Barrett. You can preview the booklet by clicking on the link at the bottom of the images column. If you would like to receive a full copy by post please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Curtis presented Sky Drawings (Night, Day) as work in progress at VIVID's Habitat Symposium alongside artist Richard Billingham as part of Architecture Week, on 22 June 2006.
Invited speakers contextualised broader concerns raised by this newly commissioned work, including curator Jeni Walwin, architect and writer Ben Flatman, and Anthony Hoete and Falk Schneemann of WHAT Architecture.
For further information on the Habitat Symposium click here
Production at VIVID
VIVID's production facilitator, Matthew Higginbottom, worked closely with Curtis for the duration of her commission production; providing filming expertise, post-production skills and authoring of the work for exhibition.
Visit the Facilities' technical support
section for a case study of this process and find out more about VIVID's hireable facilities.