Revealing the Invisible

Christina Worsing, Jim Rokos, Monica Chong, Vincenzo Di Maria.


  Revealing the Invisible celebrates the forgotten lead mining industry of Allendale. Blue light art installations reveal the ruins true to their form. The result of a Sustainable Tourism Design Camp as part of Dott 07 (Design of the Times).

dates: 14th - 21st October from 8pm

location:Allendale, Northumberland

directions: Information and locations available from buildings sporting blue lights around the village, or see


Designers Monica Chong, Vincenzo Di Maria, Jim Rokos, and Christina Worsing made up the Allendale Industrial Heritage team. Given a chance to explore the natural, social and built environment, what struck them deeply were the invisible elements of the town’s lead mining past. Much of the physical evidence of Allendale’s industry appears to have faded away as it has decayed and slowly been consumed by its natural surroundings. Often, the built environment, if it remains at all, becomes a relic. Original forms leave only partial traces of a life that once was in full motion. Usually it is these tangible leftovers we seek out when we try to experience our past. We visit historic sites and stare at the bits that are within our scope. But for every form we are able to grasp, there remains a counter-form as well—a piece that sits invisibly alongside.

With the desire to illuminate these moments of Allendale’s industrial heritage, the team has proposed a series of four light-based installations to fill in the gaps, which time and space has erased. Light provides the proof our eyes often require to make sense of a physical world that no longer exists. Yet it also taps into the ephemera and fleeting nature of an intangible reality that remains intact.

These four installations sustained by hydroelectric power from the Allen River, will run continuously yet be most pronounced during the evening hours. We are proposing a self-guided experience whereby visitors move at their own pace and draw their own conclusions. In the hopes of supporting an open-ended experience, navigation and explicit background information will be kept to a minimum. Transportation to and from Allendale as well between installations will be provided. Cues and clues will be available ranging from introductory communications at the DOTT festival to embedded markers throughout the town. Light is the guiding principle of this project. It will act as a beacon throughout the community to indicate locations, people, and resources that make up the experience. If seeking help, insight, or conversation, we encourage people to simply move towards the light. The rest will take care of itself. Ultimately, by interacting on one’s own terms, we believe connections between past and present have the greatest chance of being felt and known.


  Design of the Times