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Shedding Light

Shedding Light
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Waylon James D’Souza moves between art, industrial design and interior and landscape design with equal ease. Timeline Goa explores his artistic journey

Artist, industrial and landscape designer Waylon James D’Souza was one of the few locals to showcase his installation at the Story of Light festival.  His team chose to highlight the dangers faced by baby Olive Ridley sea turtles. After the females have hatched, the babies are left to fend for themselves by using the natural light of the night to direct them to the sea. But beach front lighting disrupts this. “My research shows that for baby sea turtles, it is the kiss of death. They  get misled into following electric lights, ending up as road-kills or dying of starvation or becoming  fodder  for feral dogs, birds and snakes,” says Waylon.

Divya Karnad is a geographer and wildlife biologist  who has studied the effect of light on the sea turtles. She tied up with the team which includes Apoorva Raina, Kalai Vani and Hyacinth Pinto. Waylon says that their installation not only created awareness but gave audiences a first-hand emotional and sensory experience of what turtle’s experience. “We wanted people to experience what turtle hatchings experience and, most importantly, to facilitate in the implementation of tangible solutions, responsible lifestyles, planning  and designing of coastal ‘development’ and tourism to nullify the ill-effects of light pollution which affects the earth’s ecosystem on a macro level. We highlighted these solutions at the end of our installation.”

While studying animation,  a visiting professor from Israel sparked his interest in light and design. “There was no theory at all, he told us to make installations of lights out of something or the other. He showed us different examples of things he made in the past whether through  old CDs or loofah lights.”

After returning to Goa, he began making chandeliers for his interior space and ‘realised that light was one of the mediums he loved to play with and explored it further.’ It is in playing with light that he has found his calling.

 

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