Demystifying the “pretty greenhouse” on Wayne Sables Instagram

By Vicky Prior 

Followers of Wayne Sables’ Instagram will have noticed a mysterious greenhouse appear over the past couple of months. Cloistered inside a rehearsal room at Doncaster’s Cast theatre, where Wayne is an Associate Artist, the greenhouse glows in bright colours and fantastical patterns. It isn’t quite big enough for a human to go inside, but one can imagine an enterprising fairy setting up home. So what is this magical creation, and will the public ever get a proper look?

Develop Your Creative Practice

A lot of Wayne Sables’ art is funded by public bodies such as Arts Council England. In order to apply, an artist usually has to have a fully fledged project in mind. This means that time spent in research and development is often done by the artist for free. To combat this, ACE developed a scheme called Develop Your Creative Practice. In 2021 Wayne received funds from DYCP, allowing him time to explore his artistry and try new things. He decided to spend eight weeks in a studio in Cast, experimenting with new light and projection mapping installations.

Focus on colour theory

Wayne chose to focus his research on colour theory, something which had always wanted to explore but had not yet had the chance to. His research has led him to a deeper understanding of how light works and colours are created. These theories have been developed into a prototype for a light installation Wayne will debut in 2022.

Dichroic glasshouse

The structure, as seen on Instagram, takes the form of a Victorian style glasshouse. Each pane is a special dichroic glass, and the whole structure is solar powered. Dichroic glass is a special iridescent glass which displays two different colours depending on how light is shone through it. While the prototype is too small for an adult to fit inside, the finished piece will enable people to walk through or perform inside. The idea is to create a beautiful space for the audience to explore and participate in creating.

The finished installation 

The final glasshouse will tour Doncaster and hopefully beyond, stopping at various locations for 24 hours each. During the day, sunlight shining through the glass will create mesmerising light patterns and charge the solar power. At night, the glasshouse turns itself on to create a light and sound installation. Using microwave sensors placed on the glasshouse, the sound installation will react to the buildings around it and decompose itself. The light installation, housing the same sensors, will projection map a pattern unique to that space, so each community will experience a different piece.

Keep a close eye on Wayne’ social media and this blog for further details.