Award winning artist talks about her latest piece – Faint with Light.

Marianna Simnett lies on a pile of pillows

We caught up with a London based artist who has used LED tape for her latest piece currently on display in New York.

Marianna Simnett’s work spans video, performance, installation and drawing, with a focus on bodies and their limits and has been known to stir debate and discussion, not to mention its fair share of controversy.

But for her latest work this award winning film maker has turned her attention to the power of light.

In Faint with Light an eye-catching illuminated creation, which is made using LED strips, is synced with an audio recording of Simnett voluntarily fainting by hyperventilating. The intensity of her breath is registered by the thousands of bulbs, which illuminate fully with her deepest inhalations, before she eventually loses consciousness and the lights fade.

We spoke to Marianna to find out more about her work and this stunning creation.

'Faint with Light' zoomed view

Can you describe your work for those who have not seen it before?

“I work with various disciplines including film, performance and installation.”

How long have you been producing such incredible creations?

“I have been making art for over 10 years but this is the first light piece I have created.”

Tell us about this latest piece

“I made a sound and light installation called Faint with Light. For this I recorded the sound of myself fainting by hyperventilating and then converted this sound into light.”

'Faint with Light' on full display

Where did the idea of using LEDs in your work come from?

“I wanted to create an immersive experience for the viewer. Also I wanted to remove my own body from the original performance, so you are left with the bare materials of sound and light.”

It looks quite unique, are there many people using lighting as works of art?

“I love the work of Jenny Holzer who has used them a lot. Neons are historically prevalent within art and there has been a big survey of this recently called ‘NEON: The Charged Line’ at Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool.”

Where can people see your creations?

“My work is currently showing at Seventeen in New York.”

 Faint with Light front view

Marianna Simnett is an artist based in London. Her work spans video, performance, installation and drawing, with a focus on bodies and their limits. She was a winner of the Jerwood/FVU Award in 2015, and had recent solo exhibitions and screenings at Seventeen and Serpentine Galleries. Forthcoming work includes a solo show at Matt’s Gallery in September and a musical film to be produced by Film and Video Umbrella.


Marianna and her work has recently been featured in the New York Times and The New Yorker.


Marianna Simnett, Faint with Light, 2016. Documentation of Simnett fainting at Factory UK, London, 2016. Courtesy: the artist | Exhibit images courtesy: the artist and Seventeen