Heath Williamson has been adding a certain glow to Brisbane for more than 10 years. From illuminating favourite haunts like Cloudland and Eat Street Markets to lighting stages for the world’s biggest artists, Heath, from New Farm, scours the globe for brilliant lights and ideas to make our city sparkle.
After a light bulb moment while working in the film Industry, Heath has turned his love of luminescence into a multimillion-dollar business. His Eagle Farm company, Firefly Lighting, designs and makes architectural LED instalments, wrapping the world’s best beer gardens, restaurants, festivals, streets and theme parks in kilometres of loopy lengths of neon, teeny, twinkling fairy lights and fun festoon lights.
So bright is Heath’s talent that his artistic lighting is sought by international superstars, including Coldplay, Florence and the Machine and Queen, and for some of the world’s biggest events, including the Super Bowl.
“In 2009, I was asked by a friend to design lighting for Cloudland nightclub and was allowed to let my imagination run wild,” he said.
“I realised the lighting techniques I used on film sets could also create the same magic in real life. At the time, most lighting in public spaces and entertainment areas of Brisbane was terrible and I thought I had some creative ideas to bring some love to our sub-tropical city when the sun sets.”
“I like to think Brisbane has always shone. Firefly just helps it shine a little brighter.”
Heath’s hometown work spans most of the Valley, the Old Police Barracks on Petrie Terrace and Newstead Gasworks to Brisbane’s best restaurants, pubs and clubs. But the instalments that have really lit up Brisbane hearts are his festival of fairy lights, transforming some of the city’s iconic Moreton Bay fig trees into enchanted wonderlands.
“Every bit of sparkle I’ve brought into Brisbane has arrived in the belly of a plane,” he said.
“I’m always operating in tight timeframes — film, television and rock ‘n’ roll want everything yesterday, and there’s the extra challenge of being based down under. BNE gets my business closer to my customers and with fast, efficient air freight, it’s like my warehouse is in Los Angeles rather than Eagle Farm!”
Health travels the globe monthly in search of new LED trends and relies on BNE to fly his lighting all over Australia and to the world. Whether flying his lights to Sydney’s Vivid Festival, Films in LA, TV shows in New York, a sold-out stadium for Adele, Heath is sure to leave a trail of sparkle everywhere he goes.
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