‘Working with laser light as a medium heightens my connection, through
the work of art and light, to an appreciation, awareness, and concern for
the natural world.’ – Betsy Connors, 2019
LIGHT REEF takes inspiration from the natural breathtaking forms of
living corals to bring attention to the threat of a future without these
fragile landscapes. Over many months Betsy Connors created models of
living coral animals and combined these with specimens of dead corals
found by specialists. She assembled miniature reefs that were recorded
as holograms in her lab.
Light Reef is a holographic mosaic with around two hundred hologram
tiles, ranging in size from one inch to four inches. As with some of her
previous environmentally inspired works each hologram is a window to
a whole image, and a fragment of a puzzle within a structure to create a
There is a strong similarity between the refractive underwater light of
shallow reefs and that of single-color reflection holograms as well as a
connection with the patterned, textured, corals to the Light Reef mosaic.
The familiarity of the mosaic form in art invites viewers to connect ancient
forms to the evolving relationships of art to technology.
It is difficult to capture the stunning beauty and uniqueness of real coral
reefs and to look beyond their beauty to the important role they play
in the ecosystem of our planet. This work is an homage to the living
landscapes of the underwater animals and to the hope of their survival.
LIGHT REEF was produced with a Holographic Art Grant from the Hologram Foundation.
Betsy Connors is an artist and educator associated with the cutting edge research and experimentation in light and holography that grew
out of MIT’s Spatial Imaging Group. At MIT she lectured at the Media
Lab (1990–2006) after graduating with a Master of Science degree in 1986. Connors was also MIT Museum’s first Curator of Holography. She founded her own lab and studio, ACME Holography, in the Boston area
where she currently works.