From the distance it looked like King Koopa decided to take a rest after a long day of trying to kidnap Princess Peach and conquer the Mushroom Kingdom. Up close it was no less impressive with enormous pointed domes of coloured vinyl barely restrained and swaying slightly in the light summer breeze. The line wound its way around the green at the Lawn on D, and while superlative somehow felt festive with the patient visitors playing games, chatting and running off to grab snacks for their friends in line.

Presented by the Architects of Air, and designed by Alan Parkinson, “Pentalum” is a luminarium which is similar to an enormous luminaria, or paper lantern, that people can walk through.  One of the few that are traveling the world, it uses only natural light to illuminate the colourful fabric shell which guests are invited to walk through.  The shell is the same thickness as skin, which seems unbelievable as it hardly seemed capable of containing all the people and air that were inside. 

Inside the dome was a maze glowing with emerald, magenta, turquoise and fiery orange light which accentuated the beautifully swaying curves of the interior.   For the visitors, wandering the colour drenched halls, it was an otherworldly experience, peaceful, breathtaking even,  and only slightly reminding me of something out of a retro Dr. Who.

Posted by:Julia Swanson

Julia Swanson is a writer, photographer and multimedia producer.

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