Herbstleuchten Maximilianpark Hamm, Germany
EVENT: Best Creative Lighting Event
Once associated with coal, grime and dust, the grounds, Maximilianpark Hamm, house has from 1984 been used as a recreational facility. This site has enormous potential: listed buildings of the former colliery are surrounded by an extensive and varying park, boasting century-old trees, lakes, numerous children’s play areas and a number of sculptures.
Held from October 10th to November 5th, World of Lights installed a number of installations throughout the park, with the aim of thematically combining mobile light installations with the existing elements, and to implement various physical phenomena such as water, fog, sound, wind and motion in combination with light, exploring new kinds of orchestration.
Some accents are set in accordance to their surroundings. For example, luminous butterflies with a wingspan of over 4ft hover around the Butterfly House as if they had escaped captivity. Luminescent giant polyethylene snails patrol their natural habitat amidst oversized tulips and 10ft high silk flowers. A swarm of blue fish swim (Plexiglass GS with LED stripes) across the grass to some unknown destination. One, however, is red and swimming in the adverse direction.
With the aid of a high-pressure immersion pump and a special nozzle, World of Lights has emulated a screen in the natural pond. This “Hydro Shield” acts as a projection surface for video installations, creating the illusion of 3D. A sound system is incorporated.
Elsewhere, 36 4ft cubes integrated with lamps and clad in translucent cling-foil are connected via state-of-the-art technology to a computer program enabling them to “dance” in sync to Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz (with laptop, e:cue butler, dmx-splitter and stereo sound system).
Another installation features a 30ft long illuminated silk drape that billows gently through the pit-head’s doghouse. While visitors pass a row of eight illuminated constructions, reminiscent of birds houses, with integrated sound systems, each one narrating a fragment of “The Three Little Pigs”.
The series of installations utilises light and shadow, and uses different coloured light sources that overlap and the shadows cast by the visitors onto a white backdrop likewise.
The landmark of Maximilian Park in Hamm is a 120ft high glass elephant. The artist, Horst Rellecke, transformed the coal washing plant of the former colliery into this imposing construction in 1984. The artistic transformation is a symbol of the structural changes taking place in the region in this post-coal era. The elephant definitely received special treatment in this “Herbstleuchten”: The dynamic illumination of the otherwise static lighting of the construction was representative of these structural changes.