Anyone looking at the sky last week in Newtownards, Ireland would have seen a giant rainbow crossing the city horizon from Scrabo Tower. This phenomenon in the distance is the work of Yvette Mattern, a Puerto Rican-born, New-York-based artist who is taking the Global Rainbow around the world, aiming to stimulate social diversity by using it as an icon of hope.
Mattern’s work consists of seven parallel laser beams representing the seven colors of the rainbow, and it was developed to be projected across large, open, densely populated areas. Mattern created the projection on January 19th, 2009 to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in New York, where it was projected from the top of a Wall Street building in lower Manhattan.
Ever since, the project has travelled plenty, having been to Berlin, Toulouse, and Nantes. It arrived in the United Kingdom for the opening of the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad, a cultural event leading up to the British capital’s Olympic Games. After visiting Newtownards, the work will go to Strangford Lough, also in Ireland.