Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University

Ron Haselden
'Red River', 1992
Exterior wall, Oasis Cinema, Meadowhall
neon lighting in metal frame

Piece no longer in situ - whereabouts and state uncertain

Oasis Cinema, Meadowhall. Wall facing Meadowhall Road and the linking transport system. (A-Z p. 89 1E)

Seven layers of neon lighting on the exterior wall of the cinema. These appear as a single framed image when viewed from the front, but the metal frame housing the lighting strips projects about 2 metres from the wall. The continuously changing image is derived from many computer-traced and stretched images. These are taken from stills of the film 'Red River' directed by Howard Hawks, but are not readily recognisable as the strips flash on and off in what is initially seen as a random sequence. A speaker was planned for the work to enable John Wayne's line from the film: "Take 'em to Missouri, Matt." to be heard on the hour, but this was discarded for practical reasons.

Stadium Developers - responsible for Meadowhall.

Artist explains that the work is in fact a clock which indicates hour changes by dominance of colour within the apparant random sequence of flashes. The colours follow in a certain sequence (as in a rainbow). To move through the complete cycle and permutations takes a full week, at which point the cycle begins again. The certain rhythm of the neon changes seem an amusing and appropriate reference to a Western and a horse's gait. The cycle can be linked to other factors eg. wind speed, the piece includes a wind speed gauge.

Update (1997):
The piece has been removed from the wall. There are no plans to reinstall it. It is not clear exactly why the decision was taken to remove the artwork.

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Last updated September 5, 2006