Grove of Oaks, RMS Design, Lumiere Derry~Londonderry 2013, produced by Artichoke, commissioned by UK City of Culture 2013, photo by Chris Hill
BRILLIANT, Installation

Grove of OaksRMS Design (Northern Ireland)

In partnership with

Grove of Oaks was one of five installations commissioned as part of the Lumiere Derry~Londonderry 2013 BRILLIANT competition for anyone based in or originally from the area with a bright idea for an installation.

Inspired by the meaning of the word ‘Derry’ and the city’s ongoing transformation, Grove of Oaks was an interactive installation in the courtyard of the Craft Village.

The word ‘Derry’ is derived from the Gaelic ‘Daire’, or ‘oak grove’, and RSM Design’s piece comprised of a series of tree-like structures made of electro luminescent wire woven to evoke Celtic knot designs. Using woven willow, fishing netting and fencing materials, the courtyard was transformed with over-hanging ‘trees’ filled with glowing patterns.

The lighting was sequenced to give the effect of saplings growing into large oaks, symbolising the growth and development of the city. The wires also responded to movement and shimmer as people made their way through the installation. 

Grove of Oaks was the first-time collaboration of husband and wife Russell and Monica Smallwood. 
Monica was born in Derry, but the pair met when they were both studying Primary Education in Lancaster. They later moved back to the city in 1999.

They are interested in creating visually arresting designs in a wide variety of media, working with the newest materials and technology whilst retaining the traditional skills and crafts that are our cultural heritage.
Russ is a multi media artist and designer with many years experience as both a Designer-maker of light sculptures and many multimedia projects in his own right and as a skilled artist and craftsperson previously working with Cobblestone Designs, in stone and other materials on large scale public works.

Monica is an experienced teacher and has a great understanding of the importance of art and visual expression as a part of children’s development. Both have extensive experience in designing and running workshops with children in many areas of creative art, technology and design.


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