One Thousand Points of Light: Melvin Moti rocks at the National Museum of Scotland

By Ben Miller | 24 July 2012
A photo of a giant rock in a mountainous formation glowing in phosphorous blue and red
© National Museums Scotland
Exhibition: One Thousand Points of Light: Melvin Moti, National Museum of Scotland, Ediburgh, until October 21 2012

Who knew that National Museums Scotland held fluorescent minerals among its historic arsenal? Working with a set of UV, light-absorbing, glow-emitting crags he found behind the scenes at the collection, Dutch artist Melvin Moti has created new film Eigenlicht (“intrinsic light”).

An image of a luminous light blue scorpion against a black background
Dried Scorpion
© National Museums Scotland
Capturing the light reactions of these minerals and other objects – fluorescing fossils and glowing jellyfish among them – the work will be accompanied by a fluorescing scorpion, uranium glass perfume bottles and scientific demonstrations from bygone centuries.

“My main interest lies in this intrinsic quality of these rocks and their colours,” he says, having come up with the idea as part of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival.

“However dead the material of these rocks might be, they still seem to communicate to us in a non-verbal way.”

A photo of a phosphorous jagged rock in glowing green, pink, dark blue and light blue
This rock is a glower
© National Museums Scotland
Curator Bryony Bond sees the show as an introduction to objects which are perhaps overlooked.

“Seeing objects in real life that have survived centuries or come from distant cultures and places seems exceptional and important,” she believes.

“I think artists can help unlock some of the wonder of this experience, and make human connections to objects that may not be the museum’s star attractions, but are nonetheless remarkable.”

  • Open 10am-5pm. Admission free.

More pictures:

An image of a luminous shot of an ancient rock illumination in yellow, grey and blues
© National Museums Scotland

An image of a luminous shot of an ancient rock illumination in white, blue, red and orange
© National Museums Scotland
An image of a luminous shot of an ancient rock illumination in dark red, blues and white
© National Museums Scotland
An image of a luminous shot of an ancient formation in luminous green against black
© National Museums Scotland

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