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Collaboration and illumination; The Illuminarium is now open to all who like a flutter. DAVID WHETSTONE took a look inside.

EVERY now and again, some thing comes along which is so unique and special that it doesn't fit any known genre.

A good example is The Illumi narium, which we previewed last week without having seen it because it was still being assembled by its cre ators, Chloe Rodham and Tim Lozin ski, at the Queen's Hall Arts Centre in Hexham.

Even the name didn't tell us a great deal. As Tom said at the weekend, before it officially opened to the pub lic, if you Google the word "Illumi narium" what comes up are referenc es to the showing at Hexham. Its uniqueness would even seem to extend to its name - yet the name works, suggesting something lumi nous and enlightening and a bit spe cial.

The Illuminarium invites us to enter the world of moths, or a world of moths imagined by Chloe. Described by the Queen's Hall as "Alice in Won derlandesque", it is indeed quite magical.

"I do actually love moths," says Chloe.

"She loves them more than butter flies," adds Tim. "And they're like canaries in a coalmine, a bit of a barometer. If they are suffering we know something is going on with the planet."

The Illuminarium is a series of per golas (those garden features you can sit beneath to escape from sun or rain) in which you can see the life cycle of the moth.

Chrysalises, caterpillars and beau tiful moths are illuminated in the gloom, and projected on to the under side of one of the pergolas is footage of these very moths in action, flitting and dancing around a light.

The moths on show were all hand made by Chloe in a painstaking labour of love.

Not only that, but the flitting film was made in the oldfashioned stop motion style which is Chloe's forte, but which takes a very great deal of time.

"I do a lot of modelmaking in my work, but also specialise in anima tion," says Chloe. "This was a good opportunity to create something that would combine both things."

The pair both work independently in their own businesses. Tim, respon sible for the sound in The Illumi narium, specialises in 3D art, anima tion and games development, while Chloe enjoys bringing the aforemen tioned timehonoured skills into the realm of modern digital processes.

"It is a very informal arrangement between us but we have done a lot of projects together and basically feed each other work whenever we can." says Tim.

"I've spent a lot of my time working with computers and Chloe is probably best known for her models.

"We wanted to do something that would make use of my skills but was not all computergenerated. "This is the first art thing we've done together - our first step into doing something that is art for art's sake."

The pair came together by lucky accident. Tim, then teaching in Bir mingham, advertised for potential col laborators and received an email reply from Chloe, wondering if he would consider ideas from the North East.

Looking at her CV, Tim noticed they had both attended the University of the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey. He had graduated in 2000 and Chloe 10 years later.

It turned out they came from places not far from each other - Tim being from Whitley Bay and Chloe from New Hartley - and that Chloe had been to school with Tim's cousins.

Both are now based in the North East, Tim at The Toffee Factory, in Newcastle's Ouseburn Valley, and Chloe with a studio in Stannington.

The Hexham exhibition is in two parts. On the ground floor is The Illu minarium. and upstairs is a display showing how it was put together.

Upstairs, footage of moths is pro jected on to one wall, and in display cases are some of the materials used by Chloe to make her models - lush fabrics, fake fur and wooden frames, all rather reminiscent of haute cou ture.

The pair - both perfectionists - seem a little uncertain how their creation will be received.

But they are optimistic. As Tim says: "I think there is a big appetite for art up here so we're hoping it'll go down well."

The Illuminarium is at the Queen's Hall until November 28 and will be on show at the Toffee Factory from December 1012. For more details visit


Artists <B Tim Lozinski and Chloe Rodham
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 27, 2015
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