In Conversation with: Aphra Shemza, LED artist
Aphra Shemza is a London based artist whose LED and light creations have certainly illuminated the art world since she burst onto the scene in 2009.
Using an abstract, geometric and scientific approach Aphra Shemza is able to bring her interactive light pieces to life thanks to the use of LED technology; meaning visitors become part of the creations themselves rather than being just inquisitive observers.
“The way in which the viewer responds to my work is key to how it is produced,” explains Aphra. “It is their interactivity with my art that makes the pieces come to life, allowing them to become active spectators.”
Since graduating in 2012, Aphra Shemza has exhibited in a number of locations and events in and around London and often exhibits work with Kinetica Museum and at the Lights of Soho gallery. Her work has been featured in a number of publications and press both on the internet and in print; most notably Tate Etc, GQ Magazine and Time Out.
“I have always been an artist and grew up surrounded by my Grandfather, Anwar Jalal Shemza’s work, which is currently being exhibited at Tate Britain,” she says. “I always wanted to create and I’ve been producing media art since I moved to London in 2009 and haven’t looked back since.”
Key to Aphra’s stunning works of art is her use of light and, in particular, LED tape but what is it about this specific product that makes it such an important and effective part of her work?
“I use LEDs within my work because they provide a fairly low cost source of light that has a very long lifespan,” she explains. “I like to use light within my work and LED tape allows me to use a variety of different colours and patterns and is flexible and easy to apply so works will with my more traditional sculpture pieces.”
Recently, Ultra LEDs were able to assist with Aphra’s creation Synphonica 0.1, which is a prototype for a much larger sound reactive piece she plans to make next year for a light art exhibition; supplying the mini aluminium profile used in the project.
Mini aluminium Channel is more commonly used for small detailed design solutions to house 8mm wide tape while the recessed flat aluminium channels also allows for a flush install into grooves and prevents unwanted secondary refraction from reflective surfaces; but on this occasion it was required for a stunning piece of artwork.
So what does Aphra think the future holds for LEDs when it comes to light art and sculptures, could they ever replace the traditional favourites such as canvas, oil paints or water colours? “As these new technologies become widespread the more artists will begin to use them within their work,” she says.
“It is natural for artists to want to use the most radical technologies available to them and I personally explore how these technologies can be used to imagine a better future. Their long lifespan and the way they can be manipulated into products like LED tape is certainly a huge advantage; they can also be programmed in different ways to create different colours and patterns.”
If you want to see more of Aphra’s stunning creations her latest interactive piece, ‘Heart Beats of Cristal,’ will be on show in the new Champagne bar in Shagri-La Hotel, London from October 10th right through until January. Her work is also on display at Lights of Soho as well as being available to view in her own London studio. To find out more please visit: www.aphrashemza.com or you can follow Aphra on Twitter at @.
Words: Matthew Crist | Images: Courtesy of Aphra Shemza