Tracy Saroff: Light Bouys

Artist Tracy Sarroff is behind Melbourne’s latest public art installation ‘Light Buoys’ which glows along the edge of the Yarra River and was inspired by both bioluminescence and science fiction.

Sarroff won the commission to enrich the urban area with a proposal that draws on her broader practice of light-based forms, as she has explained her compositions are inspired by the “basic structural compositions of living things, their growth, transformation, patterns and structures are sifted from the natural world and recombined. What prevails is an interest in our relationships with ecology and science and the creative boundaries of what is both imaginary and real.”

Tracy Saroff, Light Buoys, installation view along the Yarra River, Melbourne, Victoria. Courtesy the artist

‘Light Buoys’ invites audience interaction with its colours shifting and changing as pedestrians pass by. On first glance the collection of shapes appear ocean blue but as sonar sensors are activated they transition into a motley of rose and pink hues. The large piece reaches six metres tall and traverses 50 metres of the water at Docklands, a hearty footprint for Sarroff’s nuanced practice which often refers to microscopy and what is unfixed about our real and imagined environments; she adds “the work melds that natural past with a potential future.”

A tribute to the natural heritage of the riverbank site, the acrylic sculpture mirrors the elegant shape of reeds. To mitigate environmental disturbance the structure will be secured to a floating device, avoiding contact with the riverbed.

Sarroff’s art project has been enabled by Mirvac, Development Victoria and the City of Melbourne.