A treat of light and design: One Heart member’s trip to GLOW Eindhoven
23 November 2016
As a benefit to our Hearts members, we recently took a group to the GLOW Eindhoven light festival. We asked one visitor, Oona van den Berg to share her thoughts on the event:
Tell us about your experience at GLOW
Oh. What a treat. I knew nothing of GLOW before I went. It really is a European treasure of all things light and design. Very Dutch and forward thinking. The festival has a quiet atmosphere of contentment and pride. Eindhoven is home to a University of Technology and multinational company Philips. Add into the mix local and international light artists and engineers and you have something unique and special.
GLOW has grown out of the city’s historic past and its remembrance of the 'Route of Lights' that greeted the liberation of World War II, when the people of Eindhoven placed lights in their windows welcoming the troops as they entered their beleaguered city. It was a cause for great celebration and light has continued to symbolise progression and positivity there. GLOW celebrates light in art and architecture and is in its eleventh year.
As autumn turns into winter, GLOW brings the people of Eindhoven out onto the streets. It is a masterful stroke of community and expression. As Gerard Philips said 100-years ago "Light is life; Light is happiness; Light is liveliness." I couldn't agree more and after walking 7km taking in the forty installations that make up GLOW I can safely say I will return.
What was your favourite installation at the festival and why?
To narrow it down to a single installation is seriously hard since GLOW includes the 'low tech', chicken wire and cling film creations of primary school children which are wonderful and life affirming; to 'GLOW Side Projects' like Small Victims, Large Numbers that highlight political and social debate. Christ! - A hard one to walk under and leave without saying something. As Eindhoven is a university city it also has plenty of talent to showcase in its GLOW Next projects on the 'Science' route,that with funding and time, will transfer to the main festival in coming years.I had to choose it's a toss-up between:
Flux Apparition: on Smalle Haven, for its interactive light display, combined and triggered by urban dancers in an inverted transparent pyramid structure. A pulsing high energy collaboration of music, live dance and projection, I returned to it each evening.
Labrynth of Passion: projected onto Catharina Church in one of the city's main squares. It depicted the fire and lust of Hieronymus Bosch's temptation of desire in Garden of Delights. A huge, colourful, sound, light and image projection across the front of the church set to Verdi's Dies Irae. It was a show stopper, created by French creative collective Les Orpailleurs de Lumiere, that undoubtedly pulled in the crowd.
How does GLOW compare to Lumiere London?
GLOW is bigger and, with less footfall and traffic. However, London’s strengths are in its mix of art forms and installations and the positions in which they occupy. Lumiere London displayed the theatricality of art installations whereas GLOW is more about technology and physical attention to light.
What Artichoke events have you attended in the past?
Lumiere London was my introduction to Artichoke, and what a vibrant beginning. I was out for two nights walking the streets, mostly on my own, but never alone. It was a perfect antidote to the festive season and felt energising for the soul. It is something bright to look forward to should it return once again.
London’s Burning was my second Artichoke event and while I was not free for the 'Big Burn' I immensely enjoyed the run-up: Fire Garden at Tate Modern and walking across to St Paul's to view the projection, Fires Ancient and imagine the heat. Having the chance to view the London 1666 structure moored on the Thames in the days previous was awe inspiring.
Why did you become a Hearts member?
Becoming a Heart isn't difficult. It's a joy. The accessibility of public art for all is the main reason I am passionate in supporting a collection of minds that excite and inspire a city. I am fascinated by the arts and performance, in all its guises, and none more than when it breaks out of the theatre, galleries and concert halls and takes place on the street, for free and for all. Artichoke offers inspiration for anyone willing to stop and look. The events get people off their sofas, encouraging chatter amongst complete strangers.
The GLOW Eindhoven light festival takes place every autumn. To thank our Hearts members for their support, we offered them a discount hotel rate and two tours around the installations with Artichoke Producer Kate Harvey and Development Director Sarah Coop.