In his new work, The Source, JD Reforma has produced a large scale sculptural light installation utilising bottled spring water.

It is the third in a suite of new works in which the artist investigates and unravels the symbolism of water – its aesthetic qualities and its role within popular culture – and its contemporary associations with the notions of leisure and lifestyle. Reforma explores how we commodify and consume water by investigating the various ways in which it is incorporated into the architecture of public space and the fabric of popular culture.

The Source - Operation instructions

The Source is a response to ‘Litre of Light’: a global open-source movement that aims to provide ecologically and economically sustainable indoor lighting to underprivileged households e.g. in third-world and developing communities where electricity is either expensive or unavailable. It consists of a simple mechanism: a PET bottle filled with chlorinated water is inserted into the roof of a house – half in, half out – thus acting as a lens through which natural daylight is diffused as workable, indoor lighting.

In The Source, a collection of various brands of bottled spring water rest upon a group of plinths, glowing faintly within a darkened room. Recontextualised within the privileged conventions of gallery space, the mechanisms of social and environmental activism from which they derive their primary function are dissolved. In isolating their status as objects, their role in deferring the anxiety of Western consumptive tendency is thus illuminated. Reforma empties the ‘Litre of Light’ of its content – the ethics of upcycling and sustainability – and recycles its vessel in the pursuit of ethical hedonism, bottled at the source.

Saturday 13 July - Sunday 13 October