An interactive mechanical sound and light installation commissioned in 2018 by Eureka! National Children’s Museum.

Interactive exhibition

Developed from IOU’s production Volatile Light, Patternarium was designed for younger audiences as an interactive play area where children could explore patterns by operating or manipulating seven intriguing machines. 

Patternarium is a mechanical sound and light installation that explores natural world phenomenon. Using kinetic energy and pedal powered technology, celebrating how light and sound art can be created through engineering, science and people power. 

Made up of 8 installations – Volatile Light, Light Painting Wall, Kaleidoscope, Pedal Powered Volatile Light, Fractal Zoom, Lazer Drum, Cycloid Drawing Machine and Pendulum. 

Volatile Light is a large-scale a mechanical light and sound environment that inspires and encourages creative thinking. It is dreamlike, multi-layered and endlessly fascinating. Children and adults are stimulated to use their imagination and to think outside the purely representative and analytical. The installation is very accessible and welcoming, yet has the ambiguity of art works that look for multiple meanings and are open to interpretation. In one darkened space there is an exciting array of specially made machines with lights attached to rotating arms, levers and cranks that weave a series of eccentric curves, sweeping arcs and hectic scribbles. The lights are transposed, in a separate cinema space, into a mixture of overlapping light trails and patterns. Visitors experience an intimate, all-enveloping environment by placing themselves at the centre of a miniature, wrap-around universe of moving lights and sounds. 

The other seven installations create an interactive play area to explore light and sound patterns in a hands on space.

Participants can explore patterns by operating, manipulating or watching any of the seven intriguing machines that reveal the hidden universe of patterns that surround us. Inspired by Volatile Light, the installations encourage a playful and analytical approach to discovering the world around us. 

Patternarium provided an educational approach to learning, using all five components: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematic

Each machine could be operated and manipulated to reveal the hidden universe of patterns that surround us. Visitors could generate their own vivid light patterns by pedalling bikes, pulling faces, manipulating dials, making sound waves, and creating giant light patterns and pictures.

'a beautiful, ethereal, spiritual whole-body experience”

Patternarium Audience Member

“ being in a shower of tiny comets'

Audience Member, Patternarium

“A fabulous factory of fireflies”

Audience Member, Patternarium