Jonathan Thomson uses light to make sculptural works in traditional Glass Neon, LED neon and Electroluminescent Wire that blur the distinction between drawing and sculpture.

Neon is an essentially 20th century substance. The simplicity and clarity of the medium, and that of the messages it conveys, links it chronologically and conceptually to pop art. LED Neon and Electroluminescent Wire are entirely contemporary materials.

Electroluminescent wire was invented and first patented just 12 years ago. It has various layers around a phosphor-coated copper core that glows continually 360° along its length when a current is applied to it. Jonathan Thomson is a pioneer in the use of EL wire in art. He works by hand-embroidering electroluminescent wire onto powder-coated aluminium panels. The glowing effect is similar to neon light, but as it takes place along the whole length of thin wires just over two millimetres in diameter, Thomson can create seamless, highly intricate works that are impossible to realize in traditional neon.

The phosphor that gives the light is fugitive and breaks down easily so that the light that may be emitted can only ever be regarded as transitory. When the light gives out, the wire remains in its permenant state as a copper-hued bas relief embroidered sculpture that harmonises with the plain white background of the powder-coated aluminium panel.