- Acrylic, vinyl and fluorescent light source
- Commissioned by the Christchurch Art Gallery with the assistance of the Friends of the Gallery, 2004
Jim Speers’s glowing light-boxes exist in a hinterland between the domain of advertising and the world of abstract art. Their form borrows from back-lit business signage and display advertising in shopping malls and airports; their aesthetic is related to mid-century American colour field painting. Speers observes that they are “neither ordinary objects passing themselves off as art, nor works of art passing themselves off as everyday things”.
“In a commercial setting,” he comments, “you don't need to read the sign to get it. It works in your peripheral vision. You see its colour. There are so many stories that come from a shade of blue or the depth of a red.” Speers’s Didn’t get to sleep last night illuminates the room with soft, muted colour, blurred at the edges, like the lights of a city seen through a rainy windshield. “I want to rekindle those warm feelings you get as night is falling and you’re walking towards the fish and chip shop and you see the neon light and think ‘Oh, that's a nice sign.’”