Robert Montgomery: Recycled Sunlight Pieces

Joseph Maduma
June 24th 2013
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Sometimes it’s the small actions that have the lasting impact. London-based artist and poet Robert Montgomery uses the power of language to communicate his own thoughts and expressions in public spaces. His typographic installations, which he calls Recycled Sunlight Pieces, are large illuminated metallic boards that are designed to be powered by sunlight. Using solar panels Montgomery strategically places his installations to interrupt people’s daily routines, allowing them to be briefly mesmerized and enchanted by their statements.  Some are cryptic and some much more tangible but it’s hard not no be moved by Montgomery’s words, especially when he deals with subject maters such as losing, remembering and grieving for loved ones. Subject matters that resonate universally but that also impact him on a personal level through his own life experiences.

The process of recycling sunlight in itself is a poetic metaphor as Montgomery explains about his piece that reads ‘THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE BECOME GHOSTS INSIDE OF YOU AND LIKE THIS YOU KEEP THEM ALIVE’ in an interview with Dazed Digital: “It’s made from recycled sunlight – the sculpture recycles sunlight to illuminate itself, as a metaphor for what we do when we remember someone we love. And I really like the idea of ghosts as a positive thing….” He explains, “I’ve lost a couple of really close friends who have died very young. My two closest friends from art college already died for example and I think when that happens it makes you turn to those questions. I find ideas of angels and ghosts very comforting in that context. I find the idea that somehow love can triumph over death an idea I need to keep sane.”

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