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The Beacon: A Vanished Sea.

Climate Art.

The Beacon: A Vanished Sea for Climate Art, an interdisciplinary public art platform focused on climate change has opened in Rye, Sussex. 


This temporary installation will be looking at key themes of transience and ephemerality. AKT II’s team supported the architect, as he designed and assembled an eight-metre-tall sculpture that showcases the remarkable architectural potential of bamboo.

His design simultaneously references an omnipresent local plant, found across Rye Harbour: the yellow-horned poppy, with each of its delicate flowers lasting only a day. The Beacon is envisaged as a temporary outdoor space for community and education events, finally permissible after months of lockdown.

‘The climate emergency is forcing art and science to combine, and with an experimentation that’s breaking prior disciplinary conventions. AKT II has supported Joseph Williams to realise a synergy of two extremes; through advanced software, we’ve been able to mitigate the unpredictability of the low-tech, highly sustainable materials that make up this new shelter concept.

 Through a bespoke fabric-testing process, we’ve been able to determine some material properties which, in conjunction with advanced finite-element analysis (‘FEM’), have allowed us to model and optimise the canopy’s performance under wind.  

 The biggest challenge turned out to be the structural connections, which we developed with Joseph, starting from the most basic ‘first principles’ of engineering, through numerous iterations. The result is a balanced, elegant and efficient design with a formal beauty that belies such a complex engineering achievement underneath.

 The passion and dedication of Joseph Williams’ unique leadership will no doubt be felt by all who experience the installation’, Gavin Sayers, AKT II director.