Forming Light - CODAworx

Forming Light

Submitted by Nicole Mueller


Location: Davis, CA, United States

Completion date: 2018

Project Team


Nicole Mueller


Natalie Nelson


Mark M. Glickman and Lanette M. McClure


“Forming Light” is made of laser cut acrylic pieces, hung suspended from the ceiling of a two-story window atrium using nylon wire, in a temporary gallery installation approx. 10 x 10 x 10 ft. in dimension. It was part of Nicole Mueller’s 2018 solo exhibition, titled “Light Matter,” at the Pence Gallery in Davis, California.


As part of the exhibition "Light Matter," Nicole Mueller envisioned the gallery as a sanctuary with colorful “stained glass” works, including an immersive window installation, collages, and vertical, window-like paintings.

Nicole Mueller's aim with this piece "Forming Light" was to activate the two-story glass tower, a prominent architectural feature of the Pence Gallery, with a hanging site-specific installation made of colored laser cut pieces of acrylic suspended from the ceiling.

She reinterprets the medium of stained glass with materials such as cut dura-lar and acrylic in suspended, organic shapes that reference natural phenomena like storms and hurricanes, or the more benign dappled light that filters through the trees into the building on a daily basis.

As colored light filters through to cast abstract shapes on the floor and walls, Mueller aims to give physical form to the abstract sensation of light, merge the tangible and intangible, and provide pathways for moving through liminal states that remain in constant flux. In this way, she makes manifest our inner desire for work that offers us space for reflection, reminding us of our own presence—and to be present—in the midst of shifting environments, and with a perspective that ultimately, expresses hope.