Kolossal Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscopes playfully illustrate the possibilities that emerge when creative and artistic thinking is applied to science, engineering and maths. Like a microscope or telescope, the unique optics and recurrent symmetry of a kaleidoscope can be designed mathematically but must be experienced as an artwork to be understood.

To activate a space in the Sydney CBD, light and mathematical artists Laura Jade and Leslie Marsh teamed up with Cave Urban Architecture to create a kaleidoscope of gigantic proportions. Hosted in partnership with the International Towers, the team built a 6 metre long, tapered kaleidoscope in front of a live audience in the International Towers, Tower 3 Southern Foyer. Visitors had the chance to interact with the designers and see first hand the possibilities that emerge when art and science collide. Alongside the build, audiences were invited to participate in free kaleidoscope making workshops to apply the mathematical principles of reflection and symmetry to create their own unique work of art.

At the end of the week when the build was complete, visitors were able to interact with the full size kaleidoscope, experiencing their own image reflected in an infinite shifting feedback loop. The tapered nature of the kaleidoscope created the illusion of a giant floating orb when visitors poked their head into the opening. Throughout the day the changing natural light in the foyer transformed the orb into a beautiful movement of hue and pattern, giving audiences a moment for contemplation and transformation.

Kolossal Kaleidoscope 2021
Dates: February 4th – March 3rd 2021
Location: International Towers, Tower 3 Southern Foyer, Barangaroo, Sydney


Creator/Collaborator links:

Cave Urban – caveurban.com/

Laura Jade – laurajade.com.au/

Leslie Marsh – lesliemarsh.net/