Relit on a Grand Scale

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Last February, the City Gallery hosted an exhibit of found object light fixture/assemblages by Brian Allee.  An electrician by trade and a scavenger by nature, Allee's show, Relit, featured work that beautifully joined his skills with his interest in collecting unusual objects.  A history buff and long time Old Northside resident, his pieces often incorporate finds rescued from urban structures.

Fast forward to December.  If you happened to wander into the Harrison Center's historic sanctuary for our December First Friday, you may have noticed an unusual and expansive installation hanging above the musicians caroling on stage.  The "chandeliers" flanking the stage were comprised of items one would more likely find atop a utility pole - discarded insulators, crossbars and fuseholders connected to create something new and unexpected.

Allee has been amassing the materials for this installation for quite some time, hoping he would find a use for them, but not quite knowing what that would be.  So, when he was approached to do an installation in the 1902 sanctuary, he jumped at the chance.  It's a growing work that he has been adding to throughout the month of December.  What began with the hanging lights on either side of the stage now includes numerous other elements that cast intricate shadows on the sanctuary walls.  The "garland" that connects the pieces to each other is actually reproduction vintage cloth-covered electrical wire.  A recently added detail and tie-in to the building are bits of colorful glass leftover from stained glass window repair that he participated in several years ago.  Though the installation is temporary, the discarded components are, for a time, useful again, transforming this space in a surprisingly beautiful way.

Visit the City Gallery in March, 2014 to see a new body of work by Brian Allee.  The show will hang March 7-28.