Olafur Eliasson
Dark matter collective

Gallery 17

About this work of art

Audio description of the work of art

Created in 2018 in Berlin, Dark Matter Collective is comprised of partially coated, highly reflective silvered glass spheres, black paint and steel.

It is 171cm by 169cm. The steel cradle protruding from the wall on which the spheres are positioned is 67.5cms at its deepest point, concave and bowl-like. On thin, horizontal, steel hoops sit 217 spheres of all sizes. The spheres vary in size from as large as basketballs to a palm-sized ball. They are clustered together, some jutting into the foreground, others closer to the wall.

Like pollen at the centre of a flower, the array of glass spheres forms a complete circle. Front on, each sphere is shiny and clear and reflects the entire room, but upside down. Moving around the room changes the way light interacts with the sculpture. The section of matt black painted onto the back of each orb envelopes it in darkness. The sculpture shifts, from highly polished, transparent glass orbs, to a collection of inky, glossy, infinitely black spheres.

Beneath the suspended steel frame, populated on its front edge by mesmeric spheres, is a floor-mounted, jutting[21] half circle, 30cms high. It is painted white like the gallery walls. Light from above casts round shadows onto the white, half-circle. Around its edge are thin, shin-high bollards supporting a fine black rope. [RL(2]

[21]If this is on the website as a photo and this part cannot be seen, it can be removed. If it is being seen in person it needs to be referenced, highlighting it is there to protect the work.

[RL(2]This isn’t intrinsic to the work, or part of the work, the plinth and bollards are just to protect the work, not part of the artist’s original design.