Litmus is a site-specific sculptural installation by Sydney-based sculptor Ari Purhonen for the UTS Faculty of Science building [CB04]. The lenticular construction, set into the building’s Thomas Street façade, is made up of hundreds of individually painted aluminium strips that are angled to produce a visual sequence across two distinct bands of colour. Approached from one direction the wall appears to shift from yellow to red; from the opposite end of the street it moves from green to blue, constantly changing with the movement of the viewer. This colour range departs from the simple blue/red indicators implied by the work’s title, to allude to a wider range of measurement scales used in scientific analysis of materials and light.

Purhonen’s minimal yet sophisticated artwork is not only optically dynamic – its play on parallax explores the artist’s thesis that science and art are inextricably linked through the study of colour and light.