PICS: See Van Gogh’s 'Starry Night' in a whole new way at the Amsterdam Light Festival

2019-01-10 15:00
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Head on over to Amsterdam right now to see Van Gogh’s famous artwork ‘Starry Night’ in a whole new light - literally.

The seventh edition of the 53-day Amsterdam Light Festival sees artists from around the world showcase 30 light artworks created especially for the Dutch capital.

The light-art exhibition this year is presented according to the theme of “the medium is the message”, a statement made famous by Canadian scientist Marshall McLuhan. In this case, with the medium being LED light fixtures, the message has to do with light, the environment and light pollution.

‘Starry Night’ was painted at a time before metropolises and major cities such as Amsterdam were the brightly lit, incandescent spaces viewable from space that they are today. They were once spaces where a sky filled with stars could be viewed at night but today, this is increasingly difficult to do without heading out into the most remote places.

According to the Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute, 80% of Earth’s land mass suffers from light pollution, while for 99% of people in Europe and the USA the night sky is obscured by artificial lighting.

WATCH: Amsterdam through the eyes of a local

The beautiful ‘starry night’ installation by architect Ivana Jelic and creative engineer Pavle Petrovic, and many of the other enchanting light installations can, therefore, be seen as an attempt to shed light and bring to the forefront awareness of light pollution in cities like Amsterdam and others across the world.

Located at the intersection of two canals, the homes and bridges of Amsterdam replace the village and trees of the painting and paint and impasto brushstrokes are replaced by 1400 acrylic rods lit up by LED lights. Coloured LED's are used in swirling patterns that pay homage to the post-impressionist work.  By placing LED's at the end of each of the rods, the light appears differently from various angles making this one of the most engaging works to see at the Light Festival.

The installation, and others is available to visit during the Amsterdam Light Festival, which runs until 20 January 2019.

SEE: Quick Guide Netherlands: Going Dutch for your next Euro trip

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