Inherent beauty according to nature’s design

Following a successful career in sculpture, Patté took a new thematic direction in 2014 to explore the elemental nature of light, space and colour in the form of pieces he calls Lightworks. On the surface, the lightworks appeared to be quite a departure from his academic study of the human form, however it was his related interested in Da Vinci and specifically Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man that lead to his exploration of the divine proportion as lightworks. The divine proportion is a naturally occurring ratio 1:1.618 and is regarded as a fundamental characteristic of the universe creating harmonious and inherently beautiful patterns. It is found in DNA strands, bone fibre, plants, nature, mathematical patterns in the stock market, ancient architecture and cosmology.

The first series of lightworks recreated a kind of illuminated ‘Vitruvian Mirror’ in which the viewer could stand and see themselves reflected and divided according to Da Vinci's observation of the divine proportion. Later works looked at other naturally occurring patterns that complied to the same rule of 1:1.618 such as the path of Earth and Venus around the sun in a 7 year cycle. Over twenty works with a diameter of 1618mm and containing patterns derived from the laws of nature were produced over the next two years. Later, inspired by the dynamic skies of Wellington’s south coast which Patté regularly travels along from his home in Island Bay (NZ), his second series of lightworks called ‘next generation’ utilised a unique ‘micro-controller’ which adjusts the colour over 4 to 5 hours, creating a slow fade that is imperceptible to the eye. As the colour morphs, so does the mood of the room. “Light, colour, tone, saturation, warmth all have a direct affect on our mood; changing our emotions as much as our environment. Through the use of colour-controlled light in my work, I endeavour to emit the same affect. I aim to change the space in which the work is viewed and alter the viewers’ relationship to that space. In much the same way that our immediate natural environment prompts a physiological change I aim to produce work that offers a multi sensory experience that provokes an emotional response.’’ Designs are etched into the surface of the plexiglass and lit with the latest LED technology and customised controllers. The work cycles through a set of specifically designed colours that each reflect a fleeting or illusive moment similar to those seen in the natural world.

Patté has recently launched a new limited edition series of lightworks called ‘New Dimensions’. The new body of work marks both an evolution and a turning point. This latest series of works present an intriguing new combination, where the lightworks themselves are influenced by a strong sculptural element. The complexity of the design of overlapping colours and light creates a sense of enigma for the viewer – reminiscent of observing phenomena in nature for the first time. Analogies include skyscapes and losing depth of field, or searching for perspective when looking out an aeroplane window. “These new works reflect that feeling of momentary escape, and a sense of fleeting or illusive beauty,” explains Patté. “What is beauty?  A singular, otherwise uninteresting form; when repeated, creates a sense of order. When combined and multiplied, a pattern emerges that is mesmerising, wondrous, immersive…that can pull you in and play with your sense of space and depth.”

Advances in modern technologies are a constant source of inspiration to the production of Patté’s work. The latest developments in an array of computer programs, iPad apps, CNC Milling, digital scanning and 3D printing are all employed on a day to day basis in his studio. Patté has recently collaborated with The Royal New Zealand Ballet and is currently working with architects on new Lightwork installations to be incorporated in both major public and private spaces.

ILT Art Awards. Supreme Award For Lightwork ‘Animal Magnetism’

Judges comments, Mr. Lynn Taylor: To me this work is a contemporary version of Bridget Riley’s Op Art where geometric forms produced sensations of movement or colour. I have to admit I was like a moth to a flame with this work. In the time between seeing the digital entries and the real works this was the piece I kept thinking about. This work ticks all the boxes as a blend of art, design, technical skill, innovation, and creativity combined with modern materials and technology. There is harmony in the mathematical accuracy and such precision and yet this illuminated piece resonates in a human way. I like the experience of this work, that it changes when looking at it and that it becomes a stage when people walk in front of it, creating silhouettes. Somebody out there, build a lighthouse for this I say!