Lucid Stead in the desert
- Esther Jablotschkin
American artist Phillip K Smith III has added mirrors to the walls of a desert shack in California to create the illusion that you can see right through the building. Entitled ‘Lucid Stead’, the installation was created on a 70-year-old wooden residence within the California High Desert. Mirrored panels alternate with weather-beaten timber siding panels to create horizontal stripes around the outer walls, allowing narrow sections of the building to seemingly disappear into the vast desert landscape.
‘When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you. It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light, and change.’ Further Smith explains: ‘One might see blue, red, and yellow… But looking down and walking ten feet to a new location reveals that the windows are now orange, purple and green.’ At night white light is projected through the walls of the cabin, revealing the diagonal cross bracing that forms the building’s interior framework and giving also an fascinating impression to the viewer.