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Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009
Bath expert creates lightning art
Streetlight Storm on Deal Pier, Kent
Streetlight Storm is now displayed along the length of Deal Pier in Kent

A lightning expert from Bath has helped to create a new piece of artwork that responds to Mother Nature.

Dr Martin Fullekrug worked with artist Katie Paterson to create the piece, which flickers in response to flashes as they happen around the globe.

Every minute there can be between 1,000 and 3,000 lightning flashes happening across the world.

Streetlight Storm will now transform Deal Pier in Kent into a monitoring system for global lightning activity.

By using sensitive radio measurements, the art installation - along the length of the pier - will flicker simultaneously with each of these lightning strikes.

With the help of Dr Fullekrug's knowledge, Katie was able to set up radio measurements to detect the lightning and link it to the installation.

Lightning signals from as far away as central Africa and South America are then received by an antenna on the pier and translated into light.

Ignite imaginations

Dr Fullekrug, from the University of Bath, said: "Scientists are trying to measure lightning in the Earth's atmosphere with sophisticated instruments to understand it better.

"Katie is using similar instrumentation to demonstrate the power of lightning in this breathtaking installation.

"The power of lightning is small but it is so enjoyable seeing the lights of Deal Pier flashing in tune with the powers of nature, it is a delightful experience."

Katie, who is the Vauxhall Collective member for fine art in 2009, said: "I am interested in the way the ordinary and the otherworldly stuff intersect.

"I hope the work's universal content will ignite the imagination of many."




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