Hendrix at Home

Discovering Hendrix at Handel & Hendrix in London

Post 8: Let there be light

Enthusiasm level: Glowing vision
Progress: A flood lit march
Quote: “No uplighters, strip lights or torches – surely some mistake…”

A light auditioning for the exhibition space.

A light auditioning for the exhibition space.

Lighting is a slightly touchy topic at Handel House. The group that established and opened the museum in 2001 did a fabulous job and it is thanks to many years of their huge effort and hard work that we are here at all but lighting is not the museum’s greatest strength. The decision was to keep things authentic and not fit any lights – Handel of course would have had candles. However we can’t use candles as they are a fire risk and without light visitors can’t see. The upshot is deeply unattractive, modern uplighters not a great 18th century look but on the other hand slightly easier than wondering in the dark on a wet Tuesday afternoon in January. So imagine my delight to find myself in a discussion about lighting in the new exhibition space, Hendrix flat and learning studio. There was much chat about scene-setting light in Hendrix’s bedroom and how this needed to be natural, probably quite moody and dark but everything needs to be visible. Back lights, staged lights, light wash, authentic 60s side lights and mock candelabras which we know were in the flat are all achieveable. At this point I was in a reverie of well lit objects and spaces. But when the wonderful electrical engineer, Trevor started talking about a control panel which could have a variety of lighting settings one for cleaning, one for installation, one for events and any other lighting effects we might need I was beside myself. For most museums I realise that this is nothing new but for us it is quite literally a revelation! We might not even have to wander around with torches (I don’t joke) as we lock up at the end of the day but lets not count our chickens.


About Sarah Bardwell

Handel & Hendrix in London Trustee and leading the team that is reinstating, in the adjoining building, Jimi Hendrix's London flat to open to the public. Quirky twist of chance meant that baroque legend Handel lived at 25 Brook Street in the 18th century and that rock legend Hendrix lived next door in the 1960s.

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This entry was posted on 10 February 2014 by in Light and tagged , , , .

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Discovering Hendrix at Handel & Hendrix in London

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