The Illyarrie Shelter features an oval shaped artwork by Pamela Gaunt that employs our ImagInk ceramic printing process. It is activated by solar sourced electricity and visually transforms during specific times of the day.
iGlass® is a switchable glass product used to control privacy. It requires a meticulous approach when manufacturing, as it involves an extremely delicate interlayer that is prone to tearing and disconnecting when handled incorrectly. So, when Perth artist Pamela Gaunt contacted us about producing iGlass as an artwork, in a three metre long, ImagInk® printed glass oval; triple laminated with the interlayer laser-cut into multiple organic shapes, we almost fell off our seats.
We thoroughly enjoy a good challenge, and they don’t come much harder than Pam’s. As part of the Solar Cities initiative, Pam’s thinking behind this complex artwork manifests as a solar powered skylight in the Illyarrie Shelter, located in the Kings Park Naturescape. This skylight visually translates changes in solar radiation via changing patterns in the glass, achieved through the use of multiple iGlass interlayers, combined with ImagInk digital printing.
The glass used in the project is produced and installed in two panels within the shelter. The first panel features an orange pattern designed by Pam, which references images of a Banksia root system. Printed using ImagInk, this panel is installed on the shelter’s roof. The printed surface is installed externally and exposed to the elements, a design consideration made possible due to the durability of the ImagInk ceramic inks.
The second panel is a triple laminate, which includes twelve laser cut iGlass interlayers, laminated together over two layers. This is combined with another ImagInk print of a Banksia root system, this time in blue. The interlayers are then connected up to a solar panel, and a pyranometer, which determines how many interlayer sections are turned on or off, depending on the amount of solar radiation.
Watch the timelapse sequence of the switchable glass in action
‘The uniqueness/significance of the artwork is reflected in the way it intervenes in the iGlass process in a new and innovative way.’ said Pam. ‘Whilst the technology behind iGlass has existed for approximately 10 years, the artwork for the Rio Tinto Naturescape breaks new ground because it required collaborative industry research to develop.’
‘I worked with iGlass in Ballarat, Victoria, and Cooling Brothers in Perth, to develop a new approach to the incorporation of patterned iGlass sections in glass. These sections turn on when an electric current is passed through the glass. In normal iGlass the whole panel will turn on/off. Fundamentally, the work is a self-contained solar energy source that simultaneously visually measures the solar energy that powers it!’
Over the course of the seven months it would take to complete, the project became one of the most difficult and technically challenging we have ever worked on. With the iGlass offices located in Victoria, the project required constant, concise communication between all parties to ensure schedules and timeframes were met. Due to the highly specialised production process, iGlass staff flew to Perth in the final stages to assist in the lamination of the artwork.
Simultaneously though, Pam’s project also became one of the most enjoyable and rewarding. Pam’s use of iGlass combined with ImagInk printed glass, creates a thoughtfully incorporated, visually arresting artwork that is both an impressive fusion of art and technology, and an informative exercise in renewable energy. Would we do it all again? Of course we would.
Pam’s artwork can be viewed in the Kings Park Naturescape, located off Fraser Ave. Admission is free, and the centre is open 9-4pm Tuesday – Sunday. Directions and further information can be found at the BGPA site: bgpa.wa.gov.au
Client BGPA, Pamela Gaunt Location Kings Park, Perth
Glass 21.05mm Clear Toughened Volume 13sqm
Processing ImagInk ceramic printing, Switchable Glass
Further information on the processes featured in this project can be found below: