With its captivating glow, National Career Lamp 1 is made from a large solar cooker, used as a reflector, mounted on an aluminium stand. Numerous blades made of prismatic foil are fitted inside the cooker, concealing a set of red light bulbs, while a half-mirrored bulb of white light sits at the work’s centre. When the red lights are off, the foil refracts the white light into the colours of the entire spectral range. Interested in questions of perception and the bridge between science and art, Eliasson continuously engages with the way colour is culturally determined. Colour as both tangible and immaterial, as physical and psychological, is a central theme in the artist’s oeuvre. His experiments have included dying a river neon-green, creating rainbows and perhaps most famously, transforming the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, London into a monochrome world of its own by creating an enormous artificial sun. Eliasson explains that he ‘was interested in light from the very beginning because it negotiates strongly with the spatial conditions, which means that it can be an independent object on the one hand, a projection such as a form on a wall, a light projection; yet it can also be the source of light in general, lighting for the entire room’ (O. Eliasson, quoted in Your Lighthouse, exh.cat., Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany, 2004, p.45).