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Midnight by Catie Newell


Darkness is displaced and light misregisters the urban landscape
Using wire and copper materials, this exhibition plays with darkness and light to capture a haunting moment in Detroit.

This exhibition lingers in the night. The suspended installations and photographic prints measure the difference between darkness and illumination, revealing alternate forms in night and day, from near or far, and from various points of view. Intricate and suspended, the works require an attentive, intimate viewing, and a deepened sensitivity to the different spatial worlds that light and dark inscribe.

The materials are selected from the wires that construct the night-time infrastructure of Detroit: Dead Wire is a spatial interruption into the extensive copper wire scrapping industry within the city. The copper has been scraped, stripped and twisted to create the delicate strands. In Overnight, a thin gauge of copper holds aluminum wire in suspension, forming subtle figural implications of architectural space. The aluminum has been delicately wound and pulled to unravel and stress the system, increasing its electrical inefficiencies, so the formal masses hover as sporadically-lit architectural moments of night.

The photographs that hover between these two vanishing instants of Detroit are part of the ongoing series Nightly, which records the presence of another city—a city disappearing into a darkness that removes the city’s daytime walls, alters its spaces, and haunts.

Midnight captures an instant in Detroit when darkness is displaced and light misregisters the urban landscape.


Catie Newell is the founding principal of the art and architecture practice *Alibi Studio and the Director of the Master of Science in Architectural Design and Research program with concentrations in Material Systems and Digital Technologies at the University of Michigan. Newell is also an Associate Professor of Architecture at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Design. Newell’s work and research captures spaces and material effects, focusing on the development of atmospheres through the exploration of textures, volumes, and the effects of light or lack thereof. Newell's creative practice has been widely recognized for exploring design construction and materiality in relationship to location and geography, and cultural contingencies. She is a Lucas Fellow, a Kresge Artist Fellow, and a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.


Tin Sheds Gallery

  • 148 City Road, Darlington Sydney, NSW
Opening hours
Tuesday - Friday 11am – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 2pm