Philips Selecon adds sparkle to Damien Hirst’s shimmering skull

    March 11, 2011

    London, UK / Florence, Italy  When controversial artist Damien Hirst revealed his latest creation – ‘For the Love of God’ - at the famous White Cube Gallery, London, it was a dead cert that images of it were going to beam worldwide.


    And, when the artwork concerned consists of a platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond centered in the forehead, it was also going to demand well considered illumination.


    Douglas James, from architectural lighting design company Mindseye, was challenged with the task of sourcing a solution to Hirst’s brief - to create the impression that the piece, titled For The Love of God (FTLoG), was suspended in thin air.


    “This meant absolutely no light pollution or spill,” James explains: “Sometimes the simplest of briefs can be the most challenging. Of course, we weren't able to use the actual piece to develop the lighting strategy, we had to make our own. Nonetheless, we did a huge amount of experimentation, and the eventual plan covered the entire exhibition room and the corridor beyond with light absorbing black velvet. Above a false ceiling, shining through two cut outs, we mounted Philips Selecon Aureol projectors at precisely measured angles to the sculpture.”


    James wanted a fixture that offered a brilliant, sharp, white light in a low voltage, narrow beamed fixture. “The Aureol’s size and ease of use made it an obvious choice for us, and it proved to be the perfect product for the application,” he continues. “We didn’t want to cast a shadow onto the floor so we framed the beam very tightly to the sculpture and at the same time ensured there was no light spill anywhere else in the room.”


    Photographers of FTLoG clearly agreed – pictures of Hirst’s artwork made headlines around the world. FTLoG is currently on display at the Palazzo Vecchio in Firenze, where Philips Entertainment Lighting’s Italian Distributor, AudioLink, supplied the Selecon Aureol’s that currently light the exhibit.


    Michael Goldberg, sales director for Philips Entertainment Lighting EMEA says: “Philips Entertainment Lighting fixtures are fast-becoming the tool of choice for lighting designers across all sectors of the lighting design industry. The acquisition by Philips of Selecon and its use of LED technology from Color Kinetics and Vari*lite (both Philips brands) has dramatically expanded its entertainment lighting portfolio. Collectively, the group provides everything from simple luminaires to complete solutions, designed with the specific needs of the entertainment, event and exhibition markets in mind. The Philips’ Selecon Aureol is a variable beam projection spotlight with the ability to precisely shape and control the light beam. It’s currently being used to illuminate installations across the globe, including the Hong Kong Science Museum, Melbourne Museum, Australia, Museum of Natural History, Brussels, and Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany.”

    Editors Notes

    For further information, please contact:


    Michael Goldberg,

    Sales Director, Philips Entertainment Lighting

    Telephone: +44 7974 752646



    Barbara Neate,

    Media Relations Manager, Philips Lighting

    Telephone: + 44 (0)1483 293 071



    About Philips Entertainment Lighting

    Philips Entertainment Lighting accommodates a diverse range of entertainment applications including: stage and set lighting, film and broadcast lighting, and video-based effects and displays. It also supports architectural lighting of performance venues, whether to enhance theatre lobbies or to create a dynamic exterior effect to coincide with performances.


    With the acquisitions of Color Kinetics, Genlyte (including its Vari-Lite and Strand Lighting brands) and Selecon, Philips dramatically expanded its entertainment lighting portfolio from specialty lamps to the industry-leading luminaries and control systems that are prevalent in the field today. Collectively, the group provides wide-ranging products from simple lamps to complete solutions designed with the specific needs of the entertainment market in mind.


    About Royal Philips Electronics

    Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs 119,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 25.4 billion in 2010, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at