JO FAIRFAX NESTA Fellow        

RIBA Directory: PUBLIC REALM + INTERIORS (lighting)



Since 1995 I have worked as a public artist. My practice is varied. I light buildings, make public sculptures, sculptural seating, integrate poetry, make digital films, create holograms, make virtual reality artworks, design costumes and lighting for dance, and produce architectural glass. I have recently started working with a software engineer on permanent interactive film projections.


I trained in Holography at the Royal College of Art, London. I learnt how to make holographic animations at the Holocentre, New York during an International Residency. I was awarded the NESTA Dream Time Fellowship to develop virtual reality as a public artform. I was shortlisted for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Artists taking the lead competition.


Other than the NESTA Award I have received ten Arts Council Awards, The Wingate Scholarship Award, The New Technologies Award and the Oxford Film and Video Award twice.


I was a panel member on the Vital Sparks Awards for Creative Scotland.


2012 on going - Board Director for OPUN whose aim is to: Promote the creation of better quality neighbourhoods, buildings and public spaces across the region.


Practice profile in October’s Blueprint.

Practice profile in Februaries Total Lighting

Macmillan Harrogate Hospital project highlighted in Building Better Healthcare

Macmillan Harrogate Hospital project highlighted in Healthcare and Design & Management Magazine.


Visiting lecturer at Nottingham University Architecture course. 2010 - 2015


Selected Projects


2004 Sculptural lighting of Persistence Works in Sheffield. Nominated for the Prime Ministers Building of the Year and commended by the Civic Trust.


2005 I designed the new Market Square for Chester-le-Street, County Durham which was nominated for 3 architectural awards and featured in Brauns ‘Set in Stone’ a survey of innovative light projects across Europe and 1000 X European Architecture.


2008 ‘Star Light’. Sculptural lighting for the Sage Music Centre car park lift. 2011 I illuminated Northampton Market Square including a permanently looped film exterior projection on the new shopping centre façade. The lighting on the buildings change colour on the hour every hour. No two hours are the same for 365 days with a s easonal colour palette. The project was awarded the Cultural Olympiad ‘Inspire Mark’. This project was nominated for the 8th International City, People and Light Award 


2010 I designed the sculptural lighting for new Heart and Lung hospital in Bristol, which was awarded the Best Healthcare Project, UK.


2011 I was the artist on the Cultural Think Tank team set up to look at the cultural experience of Silverstone for the next 17 years.


2011 I designed the new lighting for Northampton Market Square with a 365 day storey board. No two days are the same and a seasonal palette.


2011 I made a film for the Welsh National Opera for a soundwork by Michael Fairfax and Jessica Curry


2011 Exhibition of motorized zoetropes and a looped film for Calke Abbey.


2011 23 real time responsive sculptural lights for Bury Town Centre. As people walk through the sculpture they leave a trail

of light behind them.


2011 Produced the 33 metres of animated glass for the new Northern Ballet building, Leeds. Won the Best Arts Project category in the National Lottery Awards


2012 180º of Light. Connecting 3 water towers in Northamptonshire 5miles x 5.2 miles and 2 miles apart. This formed the largest public artwork in Britain. Shortlisted for the National Lottery Awards Best Project.


2012 Redesigned the new civic Square in Seaham, County Durham


2012 Designed a laser table for The Secret Cinema’s performance of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, London.


2012 Creating sculptural lighting and an interactive film for new York City Council building.


2012 Creating interactive real time responsive film for York City Council’s new building entrance.


2012 Created sculptural lighting for the PCT building in Seaham which changes colour with tidal changes


2012 Robotic integrated sculptural ceiling for Tresham College.


2012 Temporary laser art installation over the formalized canalized river at Boughton House, Northamptonshire.


2012 Designing Holmes Tunnel Underpass, Derby and 6 other underpasses.


2012 Won the Eco Gateway artwork competition to create a gateway artwork for the East Midlands. M1 Junction 29A


2012 Designed the new St Peters Cross, Derby in collaboration with Atkins.


2012 Stitch. 8 lasers connecting two shoe making factories 4.5 miles apart across the Nene Valley for Graham Callister.


2012 Photo of event included in The Telegraph’s Photo of the Week.


2013 Designed the new railway station in Colchester.


2013 Consultant artist on the team overseeing the design for the new Richard Attenborough Gallery, Leicester University. Planning permission granted.


2014 Lead artist for the new Macmillan Hospital in Harrogate producing 5 pieces of work for the hospital including two interactive films and some animated glass around their courtyard. 


2014. Mentor for the Art Science Prize UK.


2014 Holmes Tunnel Bridge, Derby. Gold cladding, lighting and sculptural waater turbine which creates a fund for Derby youngster interested in art/architecture and sustainability. 


2014 Guest speaker at the Zahed University, Dubai, Art and Design.


2014 Artist working with DLA Architects on the new development of the Orangery for BEAM, Wakefield.


2015 Created several artworks for the new public space at the Weaver's Triangle, Burnley. 4 projections, 2 hand cranked 3d animated zoetrope's and two interactive films as      

permanent outdoor projections which changhe as people walk across the new Square.


2015 Created the entrance artwork feature for the refurbished Kirkgate Railway Station, Wakefield. Nominated for a Civic Award.


2015 I made the public sculptural seating for the new public space outside of the Primary Care Trust Seaham. Two animated glass seats and two cast iron 'Captain's chairs'.


2015 Harrogate Hospital project where I was the Lead Artist and created the interior animated glass work and two interactive films was awarded the 'Best Interior Award' at the Annual Building Better Health Care Awards.


2016 Interactive lighting at Nottingham railway station. Nottimgham City Council. 365 projected poems , one selected each night + lights that respond to local trams entering and departing the station.

2016 Mentor for the Art Science Prize. Sil Mill, Derby.

2016 Artist on the team working on the Central Square development in Leeds with DLA Architects. 26m high interactive sculptural lighting.

2017 Redesignthe Reception Area of Nottingham City Council

2017 Design a new public space between the Silk Mill Museum and Electricity sub station, Derby.

2017 Interactive lighting for the Birmingham Children's Hospital courtyard.

2018 Inclusion of 'Fan Light' in an exhibitionon Adaptive Architecture, Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham.

2018 RHS Chatsworth Show Garden. In collaboration with Eslpeth Stockwell and sponsroed by John Deere. Won a Silver gilt medal.

2018 Arts Council Award. Interactive cafe table that responds to participants emotions and outputs projections, films,sounds and colour. In collaboration with the Mixed Reality Lab  and Architecture and the Built Environment (both Nottingham University).

2018 Electro/mechanical programmed wall panel. University of Nottingham Helath Centre.

2019 Public art commission, Cromford Mill. Beam. Automated drawing machine driven by people bicycling.