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Cathedral towers provide canvas for projection mapping showcase

Picture: Bart van Overbeeke

The twin towers of Sint-Catharinakerk (St Catherine’s Church) are a dramatic feature on the skyline of the Dutch city of Eindhoven. Christened ‘David’ and ‘Maria’ the 73-metre high towers are a striking, neo-Gothic design that draw inspiration from the famous Chartres Cathedral in France.

The GLOW festival is a week-long projection mapping showcase, held in Eindhoven in November. It provides an opportunity for artists from home and abroad to use the buildings and public spaces of the city as a backdrop for their ‘light art’ installations. The results are always spectacular and the 2018 festival attracted a record 750,000 visitors to the city.

One of the central works this year was Confluence, a projection mapping installation by OCUBO, a Sintra-based agency and the creative force behind similar installations across the globe. OCUBO was a creative partner of the first GLOW in 2008 and the team was delighted to make a return a decade later with Carole Purnelle, CEO, also taking up the position of moderator of this year’s festival conference. The theme of the work was inspired by the location of Sint-Catharinakerk: the cathedral stands close to the meeting point of two important waterways in Eindhoven, the River Dommel and the Eindhoven Canal. The concept of fluidity and the joining of waterways, light and shade can be seen in the diverse range of images in motion that cascade and meld together across the façade of the building. This ‘kinetic’ work of art also sees two virtual dancers guide the viewer through the narrative, with flourishes of colour to emphasise the stunning architecture in an array of geometric combinations.

“When we came up with the idea of Confluence, we knew we had struck on approach that could fit in with the overall mood of GLOW; that is, contemporary but visually experimental,” commented Purnelle. “We needed projectors that could deliver excellent images in high definition clarity and were delighted with the performance of the Christie projectors.”

Supplied by Sahara Benelux, a total of 12 Christie D20WU-HS projectors were used on the project. Robin van der Heiden, manager at Sahara Benelux, who was involved with the project from the beginning, was delighted with how the projection installation came together: “Due to the nature of the project we were looking for a versatile projector that could deliver 3DLP levels of performance but in a more compact form factor. Christie D20WU-HS was the ideal solution and delivered on all counts; it was easy to set up and install and the performance and images were more than we could have hoped for from such a compact machine.”