lightwave, Exchange gallery, 2007

Artists Statement

I see my light sculpture as a process of looking for poetic solutions that bring colour and life into the built environment. I'm interested in exploring qualities of light and space, using electric light and digital technologies to realise luminous forms that create a positive ambience in their locations. Sometimes the forms are independent objects with luminous surfaces that radiate into the surrounding space. Others are light installations that integrate into the architectural envelope and transform existing structures. They often include interactive technologies allowing them to respond to the presence of people and the environment. I like to think this encourages a positive relationship between object and audience and makes the sculpture reflexive in it's location. Sculptures are often realised as site specific public art and I work closely with clients, local people, architects, manufacturers and urban planners. It's a creative transaction between artist, commissioner, audience, and location, and sculptural process becomes orientated towards a synthesis of ideas, transferring what is exciting and valued in the surrounding culture into three dimensions and giving resonant form to a contemporary moment. My wish is that sculpture should bring pleasure and lustre to everyday life.

Peter Freeman 2013

Artist Biography

I was born in Manchester in 1956 and one of my first memories of artificial light come from my family's annual outings to see the Blackpool illuminations.

From 1976 -79 I studied for a BA in fine art at Bristol where I started making sculptures using found light fittings. After graduating I visited Las Vegas and was totally blown away by the incredible neon architecture. I loved the idea that you could build a cities out of light. I became interested in using neon and decided to learn the craft of neon glass blowing. I studied scientific glass blowing and spent 3 years working commercial neon companies before setting up my own workshop studio in Dalston Junction in Londons East End.

In 1986 I was lucky enough to be awarded a Crafts Council setting up award and started making neon lamps for shops and galleries leading on to larger scale light commissions for architectural settings.

In 1989 I studied for an MA in fine art at Goldsmiths UCL. The MA gave me an opportunity to explore wider interests in ideas and other materials that resulted in my using new forms of light including fibre-optics ans LEDs..

In 1992 I moved from London to Penwith in West Cornwall where I now live and work. Penwith is a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and I'm inspired by the constantly changing spectacle as the sun light reflects between the sky, sea and land. There's an incredible uplifting spirit of natural light that I try to express in my sculptures. To me it's wonderful to think that light is invisible until the eye and brain turns it into the amazing visible world we perceive. In this subjective process the world naturally becomes a reflection of our time and imagination. The advent of electric light and computer control gives the possibility of creating totally new and artificial luminous landscapes. Mostly electric light is used in banal repressive ways for work and commerce but I'm interested in the liberating emotional 'wow' factor of light. I try to make light sculptures that playfully explore the symbolic and aesthetic nature of light to liberate the eye, and engender positive emotions in the built environment.


Special Days , Primrose Hill School, 2011

Curriculum Vitae 2012


1956 Manchester U.K.


1979 BA Hons, Fine Art sculpture, Bristol Polytechnic.

1991 MA Fine Art, Goldsmiths, University College of London.


1986 Crafts Council Setting-Up award for neon.

1996 S.W. Arts Research Award (fibre optics)

2002 S.W. Arts Artists Award(LED).

Reflexive, Crafts Study Centre, 2010

Recent public art commissions:

2012 - Redruth Green Blue - Redruth, Cornwall - Light banner.

2011 - Special Days - Primrose Hill School Birmingham - wall mounted sculpture with programmed light changes.

2011 - Regents Street Swindon - Two interactive light columns for Swindon town centre.

2010 - St Davids Hall Cardif - Digital lighting facade.

2009 - Light Wave - Swansea - Wave form sculpture for new housing development in Swansea docks.

2009 - 2012 Reflexive - Interactive architectural LED installation for the Crafts Study Centre - University of the Creative Arts - Farnham.

2007 The HUB:MK - Two Interactive sculptures for a new Piazza in central Milton Keynes.

2007 Exchange - Interactive architectural LED installation for Arts Council Gallery in Penzance.

2007 Radiance - Interactive LED installation for the Light Box Woking.

2006 Elements - Text Message LED installation for Broadway and St Peters Bridge, Maidstone.

2006 PrismDancer - Interactive chandelier, Shirehall Gallery, Stafford.

2006 Light Weave - Art for life, Qpark, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton.

2006 Light Cloud - Neon installation for Oldham Library and Learning Centre.

2005 Light Flo - LED installation for a new student accomodation in Bristol

2004 Travelling Light, Junction21 M5 motorway, RGB led column, 13.5 metres high.

2004 Light Engine, Locomotion NRM Shildon, 6 m high, Luxeon LED and mirror stainless steel sculpture Locomotion railway museum.

2004 Spectra-txt, Middlesbrough, Text interactive 10m high, fibre-optic and mirror stainless steel column in the centre of town.

2003 Pulse, Rochdale, Pulses to the beat of the street, 6m motion sensitive LED column in busy nightclub area of the town.

2002 Luminous Motion, Winchester Cathedral, interactive fibre-optics and mobile telephone 6 metres high stainless steel tower.

2002 Lighthouse, Poole Arts Centre, Interactive neon and floodlight facade for the refurbished arts centre.

2002 Ribbon of Light, Maternity Unit, Kings Hospital London, colour changing fibre-optic and stainless steel ribbon,13 metre high.

2002 The Light Loves You, Escape and Light Shift, neon installations, Gallery Oldham.

2001 Glamrocks, Blackpool South Shore promenade, Fibre-optic forms.

2001 Lightcube, Exchange roundabout, Skelmesdale, fibre-optic light tower.

2000 Central garden, Bournemouth, 12 metre animated neon light tower.

2000 Fire in the Heart, Warwick University, Arts Centre, Fibre-optic light installation.

1999-1995 Trees of Light, Highbury Corner, London.

1998 Toy Boy, 12m tower of light, Northern Quarter, Manchester.

1997 White Christmas, Christmas fibre optic installation, Tate Gallery St Ives.

1995 Tate gallery St. Ives,Christmas Light project.

.White Christmas , Tate Gallery St Ives, 1997.

Selected exhibitions:

2008 The New Landscape, Royal Cornwall Museum.

2006 Postcard from St Ives, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives.

2005 Chemistry of colour Sherborne house, Sherborne, Dorset.

2002 Light , Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, Cornwall.

2002 Mathematique, Danielle Arnaud Gallery London.

1999 Illumination, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool.

1997 A quality of light, St Ives International, Cornwall.

1993 On The Edge, Crafts Council Gallery and touring.

1991 Configura 1, Erfurt, Germany.

1988 Hacienda night club, Manchester.

1988 New Spirit, Crafts Council, London.

Neon lamps, 1984


Peter Freeman

Amalwyn Nancledra Penzance Cornwall TR20 8LJ

01736 796941


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