Glow festival of light in Eindhoven

Stuart Forster visits the Glow festival of light in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Each year Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, hosts a festival of light.

From the 8th to 15th of November 2014 the city hosted the ninth annual edition of the Glow festival of light, featuring 20 installations by Dutch and international light artists.

The theme of the festival was City in Motion. A 1.5km route led between the installations. The works on show ranged from the colourful son et lumiere The Enchanted Cathedral and The Seasons, by Ad Lib Creations and Christian Gimat, projected onto the twin-spired St Catherine’s Church (known locally as the Catharinakerk) to Figures That Wander, conceptualised by Van der Put-Roelants, featuring women with lights dancing behind the semi-opaque plastic flaps of a delivery zone by the railway station.

Storybox’s European debut

Visitors had the opportunity to see the first showing of work by Storybox in Europe. New Zealander Rob Appierdo spent eight days filming in Eindhoven ahead of the event, creating a series of short films with a visitor’s perspective of the city. The films were projected onto screens mounted on shipping containers. People were able to add their own photos and video clips to the project via the Instagram hashtag #cityloops.

Appierdo will return to Europe with Storybox in 2015 to participate in Lumiere Durham. Several of the installations displayed at Glow appear at the 13 other events – including Lux Helsinki, Light in Jerusalem and Singapore’s I Light Marina Bay – organised by members of the International Light Festival Organisation.

Glow’s growth since 2006

Once again, the free-to-visit event proved popular, drawing 650,000 people into Eindhoven’s city centre. This compares to 520,000 in 2013. The attendance figures have grown markedly since the inaugural Glow festival in 2006, attended by 35,000 spectators.

The 2014 Glow included an additional, ticketed event – a 15-minute work by Casa Magica – held within the St Augustine Church (Augustijnenkerk). Transcendent Flow was projected onto the vaulted arches of the Gothic-style church interior, accompanied by music by Leon Boëlmann, Samuel Barber and Oliver Messiaen. “This is an adaption of a project we made for Cologne Cathedral…it’s not religious but it invites people to a meditative and spiritual experience,” explained Sabine Weissinger, one of the two members of the Casa Magica team.

Meanwhile, an audio-visual installation called Stereo, by The Macula, experts in video mapping, could be experienced outside of the St Augustine Church.

City in Motion theme

“Each edition has its own theme and this year’s is City in Motion. All installations are on movement and motion but also logistics, distribution, change of time and the change of seasons,” commented Saskia van de Wiel, one of Glow’s curators.

Side events, including works by students and local children, were displayed in parallel to Glow. So too was Glow Next, which had a scientific, experimental edge. 18 installations by artists, researchers, choreographers and filmmakers featured in the Glow Next, whose theme was Fascination for Light.

The annual festival of light is held in November.

Where to stay in Eindhoven

The Pullman Eindhoven Cocagne Hotel (Vestdijk 47, tel. +31 (0) 40 2326 111) is a smart, 320-room business and leisure hotel in Eindhoven’s city centre. The hotel has a fitness room and sauna area, conference facilities plus a contemporary French restaurant, Vestdijk 47. Rooms have Nespresso machines and Wi-Fi access is free of charge.

What to do in the daytime

Learn how Philips, the multinational technology company, played a major role in the development of Eindhoven at the Philips Museum (Emmasingel 31). The museum tells the story of the company, founded in 1891, and is located at the site of Philips’ first factory, where carbon-filament lamps were made. The artefacts on display come from a range of fields, including communications and healthcare products. You can also see a glove made for Michael Jackson, with technology allowing it to flash in rhythm to the music. View the museum’s website for information on opening times, entry prices and temporary exhibitions.

If you enjoy football, take the short walk from the city centre to the Philips Stadion (Frederiklaan 10), the 35,000-capacity home stadium of PSV Eindhoven. The ground hosts a sizable club shop, a café and the club museum. You can even get your photo taken ‘with the team’ by sitting on a seat in front of a picture of the squad next to Caffee 1913.

Further information

Learn more about the event on the Glow Eindhoven website.

Find out more about the city via the This is Eindhoven or Visit Holland websites.

Photos illustrating this post are by Why Eye Photography.

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'Figures That Wander' by Van der Put-Roelants, one of the installations in the 2014 Glow festival of light in Eindhoven.
‘Figures That Wander’ by Van der Put-Roelants, one of the installations in the 2014 Glow festival of light in Eindhoven.

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