Painting with Light, a lighting and multimedia expert, has worked on the second edition of The Art Hour at the former Holy Ghost Chapel in Mechelen, Belgium. The Art Hour, developed by art collectors and entrepreneurs Hans & Joost Bourlon, showcases the art of Belgian masters and aims to make them more accessible by bringing them to a wider audience.
This interactive and immersive exhibition presents 33 paintings from nineteen Belgian artists between 1850 and 1950, across three spaces for the duration of one hour. Alongside the artwork, stories are told by Flemish personalities like Marc Van Ranst, Jill Peeters, Arno Hintjens, Wim Opbroeck and Elodie Oueadraogo.
Creative lighting and video design
Painting with Light is responsible for the design and management of the show’s lighting, video and audio, as well as humidity control.
As visitors travel through the first two spaces, they can view the artworks and listen to the stories, as told by life-size videos of the speakers, projected onto the walls next to the paintings by Panasonic technology. Then, the third room, inside the old chapel, is a darker space with an immersive light show and an invisible narrator.
This highlight of this final space is The Cockfight in Flanders by Emile Claus which is showcased with specially designed lighting, illuminating the different elements of the painting one at a time.
Luc Peumans, CEO of Painting with Light, says, “It is a pleasure to once again collaborate with the organizers for the lighting design and video programming of this second, and even better, edition of The Art Hour.
“With our team, we have combined all the creative and technical expertise into an interactive concept where visitors can individually experience each artwork in just one hour. Timing, lighting, audio and visitor flow must therefore be perfectly synchronized. We are happy to contribute in this way to a better knowledge of our Flemish masters with the general public, paying them the tribute they deserve.”
Painting with Light began by creating a virtual version of the exhibition in WYSIWYG, which it then presented to the organisers as a VR experience. For this project, the Painting with Light team provided the full technical design including projection system, creative lighting, audio track and control, plus specification, procurement and commissioning of all equipment and its installation.
The Art Hour tours adhere to COVID safety measures. Each tour lasts for one hour and they begin every 20 minutes. As they arrive, guests are given headsets and audio players, and when their time slot begins the entrance door opens automatically. The AV content is synchronised throughout, from a central control room, for an easy, stress-free visitor experience.
Painting with Light coordinated the lighting for each painting, lighting them from behind with RGB LED strips that are adjusted to each piece’s colour palette. The team also worked to focus the lights and minimise reflections for an enjoyable visitor experience.
The first and second rooms both feature black textile wall cladding provided by partner Showtex. to which Painting with Light added linear lighting at floor level, helping with guest orientation. . The lighting intensity in the entrance area adjusts to the time of the day thanks to an external light sensor, and the humidity level within the galleries is controlled to protect the paintings. The Art Hour will run until 30 September 2021.
The company also recently designed an eye-catching light artwork in Leuven, Belgium, as part of Studio Brussel’s The Warmest Week fundraising event