ILANEL x NGV Triennial


In a city that lives and breathes art and design, the NGV Triennial is a ground-breaking event seeking to question the status quo of the contemporary art and design world through global collaborative projects. Providing an inspirational experience that ignites a true synergy of art, design, science and technology, the exhibition will feature 87 projects and over 100 artists and designers from 33 countries. Among the impressive line-up, Melbourne multidisciplinary designer Ilan El stands proudly beside world renowned creatives, the likes of Jeff Koons, Patricia Urquiola and kengo kuma.

What comes as an exciting highlight of an illustrious career that blossomed from humble beginnings, the opportunity with the NGV Triennial takes place as the lighting atelier ILANEL celebrates a decade of visionary luminaire design. Specifically commissioned by the NGV, the conceptual interactive eclipse – ORA, will be held in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Originally from Israel, Ilan El arrived in Australia in 2005, not knowing a single person here in Melbourne. He moved here to undertake a Master of Design studies at RMIT, investigating how interactive lighting can affect our wellbeing . Most interested in the experiential quality of light and its potential to positively impact psychological and emotional states, El established ILANEL DESIGN STUDIO from the ground up in 2010. Ten years on, he continues to specialise in the design and production of bespoke luminaires and large scale light-art installations, exploring the various technological advances in lighting to develop works that are playful, interactive and beyond all, inspirative. Ilan El has worked on a myriad of projects for high-end international brands and private clientele, both locally and around the world, with installations also being presented at Melbourne Design Week (2017, 2018, 2020); Globelight Melbourne (2013-2016), and Vivid, Sydney (2012).zxohwd4q-1

Despite the challenges this year has presented with regards to COVID-19, Ilan El has been fortunate in that his small business has gone from strength to strength. The NGV Triennial exhibition is an incredible achievement that recognises the hard work, along with the heart and soul that he puts into his creations, while also acknowledging the vision, design aesthetic and playful curiosity of ILANEL’s work. El is incredibly honoured to be included in the line-up and sees it as the pinnacle of his career to date.

“Never has it been more important for the spaces we inhabit to be nurturing, uplifting and engaging. I am constantly drawn towards the way design affects people and my ability as a designer to create spatial experiences. With the ability to highlight, shift mood, create ambience and have a strong presence as a design object in its own right, lighting is the ultimate design challenge.” – Ilan El.

ILANEL’s ORA light was originally conceived in 2008, and is a piece that mediates between light and darkness through transparent colour. It is an interactive luminaire that engages in experimentation and exploration of coloured illumination.

The bespoke larger-scale, dual operation modes adaptation, commissioned by NGV, is the result of an ongoing topic of research and study into the effect of light and its potential to evoke an emotional and behavioural response. Presented under the NGV Triennial theme of Illumination, the work draws associations with the development of psychological inquiry and the growing awareness of environmental factors on human emotions and behaviour. The commissioned piece is fitted with an automated light show that cycles through the visible light spectrum – which appears in a halo effect – emitting coloured ambient light in a durational display over three minutes. As originally intended, ORA enables personalisation through control of its illuminating outcome – three dials are fitted, each adjusts one colour spectrum: red, green, and blue, allowing fine tuning of infinite hues.

The interactive eclipse – ORA, can be viewed as part of the NGV Triennial in Melbourne, a free event, from 19 December 2020 until 18 April 2021.