UNIT.City, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2019
Beacon was commissioned in 2019 as a permanent public landmark in Kyiv, Ukraine. The concept, created by British artist, Sebastian Kite, made in partnership with UDP real estate development company and UNIT.City, sought to transform the former industrial site into a symbol of hope and future prosperity.
The site was Kyiv’s newly developed center for technology and innovation, with the 60M high Beacon at its heart, broadcasting a vertical beam of light 3km into the sky, creating a positive visual connection between the past, the present and the future.
The site specific installation blended light, art and architecture to create a universal feeling of hope and a point of contemplation for current and future communities. The beam of light connects the ground, its history and the sky. It can be seen from near and from across the horizon of the city. The light is in tune with the earth, timed to the rise and setting of the sun.
Nevermore has the message of Beacon felt so poignant. Beacon was designed as a unifying symbol in the wake of Kyiv and Ukraine’s recent history. The chimney site was symbolic of Kyiv’s industrial era and the progress that had, up until now, represented what the world knew as contemporary Kyiv.
UNIT.City was a development that sought to support creative businesses, young startups and leading edge companies competing on the world stage. Many of whom have now either fled or swapped their laptops for guns. The bright future this artwork once sought to embody now hangs in the balance, the communities it sought to serve dispersed and the businesses it hoped to inspire closed indefinitely.
For many of us in the West, it is hard to imagine this kind of tragedy sweeping through our lives in the 21st Century, the profound devastation and change, with yesterday's memories still fresh in our minds. We hope through sharing this work it will continue to serve as a reminder of the strength, innovation and resilience of the Ukrainian people, their history and their hopes, and act as a symbol for the future and recovery of Ukraine.
Dimensions: 63m x 8m x 8m, projection disance 3.5km
Media: xenon searchlighting, LED, aluminium, steel, custom programming
Lighting Partner: Expolight, UA
Architect: APA Wojciechowski, PL
Curators: Nadim Samman, Darya Koltsova
Photography: Sebastian Kite