Yvette Mattern, a New York City artist, has lit up NYC skies with a laser rainbow to bring a sense of hope and peace to those affected by Sandy. It’s been almost a month, but New Yorkers are still feeling the effects of the storm that wreaked havoc on their home. Mattern, who lives part time in New York and the other part in Berlin, has a shared sense of loss over the destruction.
“I consider New York my home,” she said. “I was just devastated when I saw the images.”
The powerful rainbow beams—seven in total—are pointed towards Brooklyn, Queens, and the Rockaways, where Sandy hit with full force. “It’s a very symbolic, and a very specific trajectory,” Mattern said of the laser’s path.
The installation began on Tuesday and will continue shining until Thursday, a three-day beacon of hope. It can be seen from 8 AM until 2 AM. This is certainly not its first time lighting up world skies, either. In 2012, “Global Rainbow” shone at the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in England and Northern Ireland.
Mattern first came up with the idea after seeing a rainbow hovering over a pond in Massachusetts on New Year’s Day in 2007. This newest installation was made possible by the non-profit, Art Production Fund. Lightware International donated equipment for the show as well.
Mattern hopes that the rainbow beams will help raise money for Waves for Water and the New York Foundation for the Arts, both of which have provided ongoing support for victims of Sandy.
By looking up into the sky and seeing the rainbow, Mattern says she wants to inspire “a sense of peace” in people. “The work itself is very quiet, ethereal and ephemeral,” she said. “I very much dedicate it to people who have suffered greatly; who have lost homes and lost loved ones.”