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Painting with Light supports Wintergloed event in Bruges

Painting with Light (PWL) created a 2-kilometre walk-through lighting and visual ‘experience’ in the centre of Belgian city Bruges - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - to add atmosphere and luminosity for the festive ‘Wintergloed’ (Winter Glow) season.


Commissioned by Bruges Plus, the organisation responsible for the town’s cultural events, PWL’s winning pitch was led by Peter van den Bosch (business unit manager for leisure and entertainment) and lighting expert Iiris Rousku who designed the various lighting artworks with their team.


It comprised a series of different lighting and projection-mapped installations, located in six different areas. Different approaches were taken for each work - some could be observed, some could be touched and interacted with and others were fully immersive.


This, the first edition of Wintergloed included the lighting of pathways, waterways, streets, buildings and monuments, trees and foliage, bridges and numerous other spaces and objects along the route, plus a special custom construction - The Cathedral - built in the Station Square, which was lit and projection-mapped.


One goal of the overall scheme was enabling visitors to view each piece of art from different angles. Part of the brief involved encouraging people to walk via Minnewater (Lake of Love) into the city rather than along the street directly from the station.


Projection mapping was involved in two of the installations, the Station Square and the 19 metre high Poertoren Tower. An enormous moon was projected onto the tower using a Panasonic RZ projector linked to a Christie Coolux media server. This projection showcased the cycle of the moon over a 12-minute timeframe.


The Station Square installation was very prominent. The Cathedral is built from a combined wooden/tented structure comprising four arched ends which are 10 metres square and 11 metres high. PWL chose the structure for its aesthetics and as a practical solution to house the video projection system. The team designed the custom print on the outer skins.


The full ceiling expanse and all the walls above 4 metres were filled with projections from five Panasonic PT-RQ32 machines rigged inside the structure, crossing over to project on the opposite walls, with the fifth one beaming up into the vaulted roof.


Video content was stored on one of PWL’s Disguise D3 4x4 media servers and included drawings and artwork collected from local schoolchildren based on the topic of ‘magical winter animals’. These were coordinated by PWL and Bruges Plus who liaised with local schools. Over 294 kids participated and could see their drawings “fall” from the sky inside the Cathedral ceiling, and selected images were highlighted each day.


In the evening, content transformed into a ‘dynamic galaxy’ created by the motion captured movement of people walking inside and outside the tent caught by a motion Kinekt sensor positioned on top of the tent. This galaxy was displayed each day between 7 p.m. and midnight - when the installations were powered off for the night. The projection elements were installed by Vidi-Square and this part of the Wintergloed 2019 was sponsored by Panasonic.


The cathedral was lit using Chauvet Colordash Batten-Quad 12 LED battens positioned all around in a curtain of light effect. Robe iPointes were rigged outside the structure to accentuate its central position and draw visitors from other points around the city.


A major part of the initial Wintergloed concept was to involve local artists and talent in dynamic and engaging ways. PWL and Bruges Plus also invited selected local street artists to express their creativity using the Cathedral as a canvas - but instead of painting with aerosol cans they were doing it with light and via VR.


The artists painted in the VR environment (The Cathedral) wearing the goggles and their artwork was projected on the ceiling and walls in real-time so the audience could see the process. PWL created special ‘light’ brushes with different colours and textures the artists could use in the VR world, and as the results were being projected (which is a light source) it was literally painting with light.


“The Bridge” was a light art installation created using 400 x SGM LT-200 3D LED pixel tubes each measuring 2 metres. These IP65 rated products were rigged in a specially fabricated roof structure rig supported by a double right-angled goalpost trussing structure stood in a pond in Bruges’ King Albert I park.


Patterns flowing through the tubes were activated by video content fed from a Christie Coolux media server and could be triggered by passers-by putting their hands inside a podium fitted with a sensor. Colours and patterns could be shifted by their hand movements.


“The Gate” was inspired by gates in the city and along the Wintergloed route. This piece featured ten partial gates made from custom-made LED pixel profiles arranged to play with perspective and create a tunnel effect along the narrow lane in which they were located. PWL commissioned Belgian company Epix to fabricate the custom gates clad in LED pixels which were controlled via three networked Invent Design Digidot C4 Extended pixel controllers.


There were many other eye-catching works in this extravaganza of light including “The Source”, a geometric work comprising 30 x LED strings each with 150 pixels spanning an 18 x 23 metre gap across the Minnewater lake between the city’s ice-skating rink and winter terrace.


Iiris Rousku and Peter van den Bosch were joined for two weeks on site by Ashwin Coelho, Katleen Selleslagh, Arthur Claesen, Jos Claesen, Martijn Smolders and Dorian Stevens from PWL. The technical production manager was Sam Van Maele from EVM who came onboard as soon as the scheme was green-lighted by the City. They worked alongside crew from several different rental companies involved in supplying and installing the equipment including Panasonic, John & Jane, EVM, 71 Rentals, Epix Invent Design and Screenit.


(Photos: Kris Van De Sande)




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