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Home » Community, Local Good News

Eco-friendly event lighting artists shift home-base to Golden Bay

Submitted by on June 22, 2012 – 3:41 pm

Local Good News/Golden Bay

By Charlotte Squire

Have you ever been mesmerised by the high powered lighting displays at dance-parties and events, and wondered about the people who bought it to you and the thought processes behind all that colour and magic? I have, and when I heard Ben Clegg and his partner Enfyes Bellamy being interviewed on our local radio station ‘Fresh FM’ about their national lighting business, I was keen to learn more about this art duo.

Lighting is one crucial aspect of a performance that adds mood, effect, and focus. International lighting guru Ben knows only too well the capacity of good lighting to boost a show into a success story. Ben and Enfyes have recently moved their national event lighting business, RGB Lighting and Decor, from Coromandel to Golden Bay and are enjoying settling into the Bay.

I paid a recent visit to the new arrivals in their gallery/workshop which they’ve named ‘Benfys’. Enfyes and Ben have set up a long-dreamed-of base/gallery/workshop/co-creative space in downtown Takaka, on our one and only main street – Commercial Street. They’ve already held a number of performances and events to welcome the community into their new gallery.

Enfyes (which, just in case you’re interested, means ‘rainbow’ in the Welsh language) greets me and offers me some raw milk (we’re very proud of our new Raw Milk service here in Golden Bay). As she dashes off to pour a cup, I admire the dramatic, well-stocked gallery she and Ben have created. It seems that art work has found its way onto every wall, and into every corner of this gallery/workspace.

 I’m drawn to Ben’s strange, insect like seat sculpture where it sits in the front window display. Enfyes said it was made out of used Audi parts (Ben apparently has a fondness for used car parts to weld into his sculptures) and had been sat upon by over two thousand bottoms at the House of Future in Wales. I’m sure many more young bottoms will sit on it in New Zealand, once the word gets out.

And speaking of word getting out, I wondered how they discovered Golden Bay. Turns out they were lured down here into the hidden north-west corner of the South Island after providing the lighting for Luminate – the dance party that runs early each year on the Takaka Hill. Enfyes and Ben found themselves falling utterly, uncontrollably in love with the area. Then, a chance stroll past their now gallery/base lead to them signing a lease here and the rest is well … a co-creative process.

Thanks to Ben’s business – RGB Lighting – the two are able to base themselves anywhere in New Zealand. Ben has worked on a long list of events in both the UK and New Zealand, including both WOMAD and the world-renowned Glastonbury in England. Recently they also worked at Prana, Luminate and the Nelson Arts Festival here in New Zealand. He’s also supported acclaimed Kiwi artists such as Pitch Black, Midnight Youth, Barons of Tang, Cornerstone Roots and the (rather impressive) list goes on and on.

Enfyes said their lighting work has taken them into some amazing shows.

“We were involved in the Rugby World-Cup opening working with a director who used the whole Auckland harbour as his canvas, including a choir on the roof top of the BNZ. It was amazing coordination,” said Enfyes.

Before more teaming up with Ben, Enfyes worked in both English and Kiwi high schools teaching art to a senior level for twelve years. These days she’s totally focused upon her work as a multi-medium artist. She finds she and Ben have complementary skills and work well together, with he being the ‘techy’ guy and she bringing in the VJing (which is like visual disk-jockeying), and the promotional skills.

Incidentally, Enfyes is keen to offer her art skills to the Golden Bay community in what ever form they’re needed – such as photography, sculpture, and painting. She says her life-drawing classes are starting next week.

An eco-conscious theme threads through their work, both within their light shows, and their art and sculpture. They use state of the art gear in their shows, including LED lights, which consume at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 15 times longer. LED lights produce a small fraction of the heat of fluorescent and incandescent lights.

Also on the green front, Enfyes said that a lot of décor material they’re using in their gallery and art work comes from recycled materials, such as fabric from Bendon. She also runs Trash to Fashion events that transform old material and cloths into  ‘wearable art’.

 

“My décor aspect complements Ben’s lighting, the materials we work with are usually used or swapped.”

Enfyes and Ben plan to work “co-creatively” with the Golden Bay community to develop their new space, while they continue to work around the country with their lighting business.

Seems to me this move will provide them with a fantastic mix of grass-roots community living and large-scale festivals and events. And that’s their plan, to enjoy an environmentally and personally sustainable new life-style here in Golden Bay.

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