• Artwork16.480
  • ArtistOmer Arbel
  • Completion2015

Omer Arbel


16.480 At The Fairmont Pacific Rim
16.480 is a dramatic installation of 480 glass 16’s supported by a set of site-specific, tree-like minarets. These “trees” rise out of a landscape constructed of burnt wood planks and form an immersive canopy of light that reaches up to 6 m in height. Bench platforms and higher mounds in the landscape serve the dual purpose of protecting the trees from vehicles, providing refuge to visitors and creating informal meeting places.

16 is formed by sequentially pouring three separate layers of coloured, molten glass on a horizontal plane. Each layer has a different opacity, which responds to the haphazard shape of the previous pour to create a uniquely layered whole. Two of these layered pieces are then attached together and illuminated with an internal LED lamp. The finished 16 becomes visually complex: each separate colour layer is visible through the others, and a halo of light is captured along the poured edge of the glass. Multiple 16’s are supported by a modular armature system comprised of a series of branch and knuckle components, which may be composed to create a tree-like structure. Each armature segment carries low-voltage electricity and diverges into 2-4 separate branches, allowing both vertical and horizontal installation on floor, ceiling or wall surfaces. The armature enables unique installations ranging from modest to monumental, simple to complex, in an infinite variety of possible forms. The armature includes a kit of interchangeable parts that simply click together for custom, on-site compositions.

“16 is a project that we initiated some years ago… very soon after our debut with 14. At the time we didn’t have the technical expertise and glass knowledge to bring it to fruition, but now we do.. and it is very gratifying to finally see it complete.” Says Omer Arbel, creative director for Bocci. “16 is an exploration of the deceptively simple process of pouring and layering hot glass. There is a charming analog rawness to this piece which enters into a nice dialogue with the sophistication of the armature system.”