Image: Fred Gonzales

Ballroom Luminoso is a public art installation created by technologist Joe O'Connell and sculptor Blessing Hancock.  Installed under a freeway underpass in San Antonio, Texas it consists of six sculptural chandeliers.  Each luminous globe includes a custom-designed LED light fixture encased in a spherical cage made of recycled bicycle parts collected from bike co-ops from across the US.   The chandeliers illuminate the underpass with complex colour patterns and ethereal lighting, refashioning it into a majestic ballroom-cum-shadow theatre.

The spheres are intended to be a way of rejuvenating a forgotten space for the community at the behest of Public Art San Antonio, Department for Culture and Creative Development.  Ballroom Luminoso references the area’s past, present and future in the design of the intricately detailed medallions.  The images in the medallions draw on the community’s agricultural history, strong Hispanic heritage and burgeoning environmental movement and are a play on the iconography of La Loteria, which has become a touchstone of Hispanic culture.  Traditional tropes like La Escalera (the Ladder), La Rosa (the Rose) and La SandĂ­a (the Watermelon) have been used to allude to the neighbourhood’s farming roots and horticultural achievements.  Each character rides a bike acting as a metaphor for the neighbourhood’s environmental progress, its concurrent eco-restoration projects and its developing cycling culture.

Images: Fred Gonzales