Neon sphere - CODAworx

Neon sphere

Client: University of Northumbria

Location: London, United Kingdom

Completion date: 1971

Project Team

Industry Resource

Technical Glass dept

University of Northumbria, UK


Philip Vaughan


This project came out of some research i was doing at what was then known as Newcastle Polytechnic, where I was doing a research assistantship in the art dept. I was working with light and the opportunity to work with the Physics dept arose.


The goal here was to use the technical glass process that physicists and others use for their experiments, in a work of art. I used a mixing vessel in pyrex as the base for this work and with the help of the technical glass blowers in the dept we created a six electrode neon tune in a spherical form. By switching power between any two electrodes in the work the light within was caused to dance inside the sphere


This was in the heyday of cross-disciplinary collaboration between departments in the University. Art schools, previously independent schools, had just been absorbed into these institutions and faculty were keen to develop bonds between departments.This project benefited from this process and would not have been possible without it.

Additional Information

This is one of the few multi-electrode light sculptures that I know. Its behavior depends on the ability to switch and re-route the power to those six electrodes.