Collected Light – Milan

An intimate showcase of work by five female artists

Following a successful debut and book launch in London, the Collected Light Exhibition tours to Milan, with the addition of two new artworks.

This intimate exhibition features a range of mediums, from neon to projection and created between 2019 and 2023. Previously shown in November at boutique gallery, SoShiro in London, the space will be open to experience work from Kate McMillan (UK/AU), Karolina Halatek (PL), Jacqueline Hen (DE), Tamar Frank (NL), Lauren Baker (UK) and Chila Kumari Burman Singh (UK) and two new pieces, one from Liz West (UK) and one from Kate Hush (USA).

Cascina Cuccagna
Via Cuccagna 2, 20135 Milano, Italy
12th—14th April 2023 (By invitation)

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The Artists

Collected Light – Milan

Chila Kumari Singh Burman is celebrated for her radical feminist practice which examines representation, gender and cultural identity. She works across a wide range of mediums including printmaking, drawing, painting, installation and film.

Born in Bootle, to Punjabi-Hindu parents, she attended Southport College of Art, Leeds Polytechnic and the Slade School of Fine Art. A key figure in the British Black Arts movement in the 1980s, Burman has since remained rooted in her understanding of the diverse nature of culture. Continually seeking to break stereotypes and emancipate the image of women, she often uses self-portraiture as a tool of empowerment and self-determination.

Collected Light – Milan

Jacqueline Hen is an Artist and Spatial Designer working on large-scale performative installations and environments.

Her works investigate the perception of body and space in the intersection of physical and digital habitats. She was awarded with the International Light Art Award 2019 for her work Light High.

She was appointed “Meisterschülerin” at the University of the Arts Berlin in 2019.

Read WIL R.A.W blog's interview with Jacqueline.

Collected Light – Milan

Karolina Halatek is a Polish artist who uses light as the central medium in her work to create experiential site-specific work.

Seeing her work primarily as a catalyst for experience, Halatek’s installations have remarkable immersive characteristics which are often the result of collaborations with quantum physicists, founders of the superstring theory (Leonard Susskind, Roger Penrose, Carlo Rovelli) and precision mechanical engineers.

Read Karolina's Interview on WIL.

Collected Light – Milan

Part informally trained and part self taught at the back of a sign shop in Brooklyn, New York, Kate Hush has been creating light sculptures in the medium of neon for the past decade. Taking part in every step of the process, from conception to electrification, she has been shaping visual vignettes of not so righteous women who can’t help but glow among the dark. Inspired by the demeanor and imagery of film noir, and the feminine wit of artists such as Cindy Sherman; Kate found it both appropriate and an epiphany to sculpt these thrilling women out of hot fire and sharp glass. Her work is a unique feminist and humorous turn among the usual masculine minimalism, or uber-saccharine-text heavy medium. Kate’s work has been featured in galleries, museums, fine art publications, as well as commissioned for several high profile ad campaigns. She is currently building an art and fabrication studio in Detroit, Michigan, which she hopes to expand into an education facility so those who normally wouldn’t have access to the medium can get a chance to jump into the neon fires.

Collected Light – Milan

Dr Kate McMillan is an artist based in London. She works across media including film, sound, installation, sculpture, and performance. Her work addresses a number of key ideas including the role of art in attending to impacts of the Anthropocene, lost and systemically forgotten histories of women, and the residue of colonial violence in the present. In addition to her practice, McMillan also addresses these issues in her activist and written work. She is the author of the annual report 'Representation of Female Artists in Britain' commissioned by the Freelands Foundation.

Her recent academic monograph 'Contemporary Art & Unforgetting in Colonial Landscapes: Empire of Islands' (2019, Palgrave Macmillan) explored the work of a number of first nation female artists from the global south, whose work attends to the aftermath of colonial violence in contemporary life. McMillan is currently a Senior Lecturer in Creative Practice at King's College, London.

Collected Light – Milan

Liz West (b.1985) is a British artist known for her wide-ranging works, from the intimate to the monumental. Using a variety of materials and exploring the use of light, she blurs the boundaries between sculpture, architecture, design and painting to create works that are both playful and immersive. West has been commissioned worldwide by institutions and organisations including Natural History Museum, London Design Festival, Paris Fashion Week, Milan Design Week, National Trust, National Science and Media Museum, Dubai Design Week, Natural England, Salford University, Fortnum & Mason and Bristol Biennial. West’s work has been included in exhibitions at St Albans Museum + Gallery, Chester Cathedral, Compton Verney, Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris, Kraftwerk Berlin, Tripostal Lille and Bangalore International Centre.

Collected Light – Milan

Born in 1974 in Amsterdam Netherlands Tamar Frank graduated in Fine Arts/ Monumental Design in 1997 at the Fine Arts Academy in Maastricht. Using light as a medium already started during her studies and she presented her first light installations at her graduation show.

With focus on public space and light Frank established a name in the light art. Her biggest commission to date is for two towers of a residential building West Pender Place in Vancouver which was completed in 2011.

In 2019 she released a book ‘Lightspace 20 years Tamar Frank’ A retrospective of all her work from 1997 to 2017.

Read WIL R.A.W blog's interview with Tamar.

The Artworks

Peacock, 2020 by Chila Singh Burman: Burman is celebrated for her radical feminist practice which examines representation, gender and cultural identity. Peacock was part of the hugely popular neon installation on the exterior of the Tate Britain ‘Remembering A Brave New World’ in 2020. She explains “my Peacock piece explores the birds’ symbolism of re-growth, rejuvenation, beauty and love. The peacock is native to the Indian subcontinent, in this way it is also a reference to my Indian heritage.” Burman works across a wide range of mediums including printmaking, drawing, painting, installation and film.


Off Grid

Off Grid Series, 2022 by Jacqueline Hen: This installation investigates the perception of the body in space in the face of the digital realm. How is social media influencing our perception and interaction with the physical space? Mirrors and an arrangement of lights create the illusion of an infinite space of luminosity and darkness. The perception of this space changes with the viewer's perspective inviting them to investigate their self within infinity.


Halo, 2019 by Karolina Halatek: The circular-shaped immersive installation is designed to draw out a very personal experience. Visitors interacting with the work have the possibility of discovering a new dimension of their own presence in the contemplative, pure and abstract environment. The title ‘Halo’ refers to the natural optical phenomena seen around the sun or moon, produced by light in the interaction of ice crystals. The place of the celestial body is given to the art viewer, who becomes a central part of the piece. Halatek is a Polish artist who uses light as a catalyst for experience. She often collaborates with non-artists including quantum physicists, founders of the superstring theory (Leonard Susskind, Roger Penrose, Carlo Rovelli) and precision mechanical engineers.


A Wade in the River Rouge, 2023 by Kate Hush: America, June 2022, (and elsewhere, earlier and future) the return of Wade and lost control. But in the inky red brine of the River Rouge, one can float from her natal shore to where the womb is unshackled, free to bear, or to restore. With her head above water and a steely soused gait, she will rid every Wade in the brew or on the banks. For a mother, for a daughter, for a sister; for a pilgrim in the field of a potter. For those who cannot ford the water. She is risen and has rejected the bridle.
Above: The First One's Always Free by Kate Hush


The Lost Girl, 2020 by Kate McMillan: The Lost Girl is an immersive film-based installation centred around the fictional character of a cave-dwelling girl on the east coast of England. Using DH Lawrence's book of the same name as a starting point, the film narrates the experiences of a young woman seemingly alone in a dystopian future, with only the debris washed up from the ocean to form meaning and language. The film combines McMillan’s various research interests including the Anthropocene; the role of creativity in forming memory and the consequences of neglecting female histories. McMillan is based in London and is the author of the annual report 'Representation of Female Artists in Britain' commissioned by the Freelands Foundation.


Her Warm Reflection, 2023 by Liz West: Her Warm Reflection creates a conversation between the viewer and the setting using 120 mirrors made of coloured acrylic. The work is comprised of discs with diameters of 30, 40, 50 and 60cm in 8 colours which are set at different heights so that they reflect both the structure of the space and the people who inhabit it, revealing parts of the architecture that would otherwise be invisible, and project warm and rich colours up into the interior. It is playful, elegant, engaging and thoughtful. There is an element of performance to this work; it puts the audience to the fore, demanding a response; physically, emotionally, psychologically or even spiritually. Viewers each have their own perspectives and their own experiences tempered by movement through the space and through time.
Above: Our Colour Reflection, 2020 by Liz West


In Lucem, 2019 by Tamar Frank: A series of 20 small light panels illustrate – 4 of which are on display at this exhibition- a seemingly still image with a central focus that gradually blends into different colour compositions. The colour gradients are inspired by the changes in natural light over the course of one day and change very slowly so that the transition itself is not perceived. The artwork is a response to the perception of light as a natural presence. The central focus invites the spectator to slow down and allow the light to draw the viewer in. The diffusion of the image does not allow the eye to focus. As a result, the image will appear to pulsate and float.


All the artists are featured in a new book Collected Light Volume One: Women Light Artists also curated by Light Collective.

About the Book




Unifying formalighting’s heritage and principles, with their wealth of experience in lighting museums and galleries, it is a genuine privilege for formalighting to be supporting Light Collective with the Collected Light exhibition and inspiring book launch.

The future of light is moving, and formalighting are proud to have innovated the world of motorized remote controlled lighting through its MOTOLUX range, a pioneering solution for aiming and focusing light, perfect for museums and galleries. MOTOLUX is used throughout the SOSHIRO gallery.

Cascina Cuccagna

Cascina Cuccagna is a 17th century farmhouse, which has been lovingly restored and reopened to the public in 2012. The building serves as a centre for culture and sustainability projects and acts as an agricultural outpost in the middle of Milan to revive the vital relationship between the city and countryside. The kitchen is run by chef Nicola Cavallaro specialising in raw ingredients with zero food miles.


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