WHEN Carla O’Brien first attended the Burning Man Festival in Nevada, she fell in love.
But it wasn’t a fairytale kind of love. It was a love of light.
“The absolute wonder that you are in the middle of nowhere and there is no power source except for what you bring in yourself and at night time – it’s a circus of multi-coloured lights stretching as far as the eye can see,” Carla recalls.
“It mesmerised me and compelled me to want to be a part of creating something beautiful for others.”
Having previously owned a clothing line, the Melbourne-based artist decided to immerse herself in her newfound love of light and started creating works that showcased the beauty in illumination.
Carla O’Brien is the wonder woman behind the renowned Neon Wings that first appeared at White Night Melbourne in 2015 before finding their way to the Burning Man Festival.
It was here that the wings went viral when singer Katy Perry posted a photo on Instagram in front of the installation.
“The Neon Angel Wings were the second thing I ever made, so back then – two years ago – they took me ages as I was still teaching myself my craft. So it was a few weeks solidly working on them,” Carla says.
“As I was making them they were so big and beautiful. I would have friends come and visit and I would get them to be my models and ‘wear’ the Wings and we were blown away just how gorgeous they were.
“I couldn't wait to have them at White Night 2015 and when thousands of people ‘wore’ and enjoyed them so much it was just wonderful.
“From being at Burning Man, I have had lots of people from around the world contact me and say how much they loved them. It's been an absolute thrill.”
Carla’s large and small Neon Wings, as well as her other installation entitled Love This Way, will be featured at the inaugural White Night Ballarat.
The dusk ‘til dawn event will be held on March 4 and will feature more than 40 works of light, colour, movement and sound scattered across the Ballarat CBD.
“I first went to White Night in 2014 and loved the freedom of walking around the city all night and seeing sensational large-scale light art in random places,” Carla says.
“White Night offers a unique opportunity to see the city in a different light and be enlivened by lots of creativity in light that they normally wouldn't see.”
For more information about White Night Ballarat, visit whitenightballarat.com.au