Painting Het Kunstuur with Light for an hour
Thursday, 16 January 2020
Thirty-two Belgian paintings from the 19th century are displayed in three gallery spaces
Belgium - Het Kunstuur (the Art Hour) is a new ‘interactive’ gallery concept developed by art collectors and entrepreneurs Hans & Joost Bourlon, presented in the former Holy Ghost Chapel in the historical heart of Mechelen, Belgium.
Thirty-two Belgian paintings from the 19th century are displayed in three gallery spaces where their stories are told by a series of well-known Belgian personalities.
Creative lighting design and media specialist Painting with Light (PWL) was asked to manage and co-ordinate and design the technical systems and control for lighting, video, audio and humidity control for this intricate and unique project.
Visitors wear headsets and listen to an audio track as they move around the spaces, prompted to stop / move on cue to designated areas by the audio track, where they watch and listen as the AV effects play out. The walkthrough lasts an hour, which inspired the name.
PWL was asked onboard by concept designer Wouter Verhulst of King Concept who created the original idea and storyline with the Bourlon Brothers and designed the gallery layout.
The first phase of the design process saw the whole museum virtually created in WYSIWYG and presented as a VR experience to the project’s initiators.
The PWL team, under the creative direction of Luc Peumans, was led on site by Céline Cuypers who project managed delivery of the full technical design including the projection system, creative lighting, audio track and control, plus specification, procurement and commissioning of all equipment and its implementation.
The lighting layout was produced in collaboration with PWL’s lighting experts Peter Van Den Bosch and Ashwin Coelho. All equipment was installed by Sam van Maele and his team from EVM Electrical Solutions.
The first and second rooms contain 18 paintings, and each has a personal story told by its associated personality.
The Bourlons themselves produced the video content which is stored on Brightsign players and triggered remotely during the show.
The projections are fed by four Panasonic Space Player 2000 Lumen devices attached to the cable management ducting. These were picked for their small size, light weight and discreet appearance, plus the intensity - a combination of illumination and image projection - as well as their networking capabilities.
The content was keystone corrected and adjusted using a disguise d3 media server and Adobe After Effect tools by PWL video specialists Katleen Selleslagh and Sina Sohn.
The paintings are mounted on black walls and lit from behind with RGB LED strips which change colours to generate an ambient light adjusted to each work’s specific colour palette.
The profile lights in this area are 19 Showtec Performer Profile Minis, a very small 30W COB LED luminaire, installed with 25 - 50° zoom lenses and the shutter module option for fine-tuned focusing on the paintings.
The decor in the first two rooms includes custom black textile wall cladding provided by Showtex. To improve the overall atmosphere and give viewers a sense of orientation, linear lighting was implemented at the bottom of these walls.
Electric curtains between the rooms guide visitors to the right location at the right time, their movements controlled via Brainboxes IP relays triggered by the master Christie Pandora’s Box Widget designer control system which also fires and syncs all the audio, video and lighting cues.
The paintings in the chapel are highlighted with 14 Chauvet Ovation lighting fixtures installed with beam-clamps in the roof. The roof itself is feature-lit with GVA Lighting STR9s LEDs, with more of these used for grazing up the walls.
PWL’s lighting scheme for the reception area lighting utilises AEG TLR05 LED pendant lights and Iguzzini wall washers.
Lighting was programmed by Céline together with intern Dorian Stevens using grandMA onPC software in combination with a grandMA 2-port node.
(Jim Evans)

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