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Michelle Nikou

Hanging glow bulb 2009

Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds donated by the Coe and Mordant families, 2009

resin, pigment

H 83 W 11.2 D 1cm
H 15 W 6 D 6cm
H 4 Diam 6.4cm

About the Artwork

Michelle Nikou’s practice has focused on the incorporation and recasting of everyday objects. Hanging glow bulb – like its companion piece Open (2009) – is made from a dense resin material laced with glow-in-the-dark pigment, a substance that absorbs light and then, when immersed in darkness, radiates a greenish colour. The after-glow lasts for about 5 minutes before fading.

Hanging glow bulb both represents light and is transformed by it. Within the installation a light source, set at a cycle of 5 minutes on/ 5 minutes off, floods the room with sudden brightness then plunges it into darkness. Forced to adapt to the change, viewers see first a dead globe, then its double – a strange glowing apparition suspended in the room.

Artist Statement

Hanging glow bulb was made with the intention to investigate both optimism and confidence – it simply plays with notions of dark/light and fear/innocence. The shaping of the cord suggests a utilitarian movement of light to where it is needed, and though the work is static, this shape provides a sense of calm flow…


Judith Blackall (Head, Artistic Programs), Statement of significance, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2010

Hanging glow bulb was made with the intention to investigate both optimism and confidence – it simply plays with notions of dark/light and fear/innocence.

Michelle Nikou, 2010

Michelle Nikou

– About the artist


Michelle Nikou uses a wide range of materials including lead, bronze, resin and ceramics in her sculptural practice. Her work conveys universal themes with a candid, wry sense of humour and unconventional aesthetic.

Using a manual technique in preference to a more industrial approach, she uses traditional processes of metal-casting in materials such as lead, bronze, tin and aluminum. Yet unlike the traditional pour/cut/polish method of much sculptural work, Nikou’s casting process is left evident along with much of the plaster.

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