Life of Jacques Brel
Wednesday, 18 June 2003
Belgium - When Belgium’s Minister of Culture announced that 2003 was to be the year of Jacques Brel (one of the country’s great modern singer/songwriters in the French language), plans immediately got underway to ensure that events staged to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Belgian singer’s death would attract the attention of the world.

One of the key features is an exhibition charting Brel’s life. Stan Colders of Nexus Creative People was commissioned to design the exhibition, his ideas relying heavily on theatrical techniques - lighting, video and set dressing - mixed with artefacts from Brel’s childhood. The ‘set’ incorporates the house where Brel grew up, taking the visitor on a journey from Brussels to Paris, to a recreation of his Parisian room where he wrote many of his songs. Visitors can also re-live Brel’s last concert in a scaled-down version of the theatre.

Colders called on the expertise of lighting designer Koert Vermeulen of Art-Concept-Technology Lighting and Production Design, together with Dirk Argeerts from ASP Technics who carried out the technical production and pre-production of the exhibit. Koert specified fixtures designed and manufactured by Lighting Services Inc and supplied through UK distributor, Enliten.

Within the spec were 17 QM200 wide angle floodlights, with a permanent glass lens designed to soften the beam, on a Eutrac 3 track system. The floods utilize a computer-designed reflector working in unison with a double-ended tungsten halogen lamp to produce a seamless wash of light. The high colour temperature provides a white light which is excellent for true colour rendition.

Manchester-based Centre Screen was commissioned to provide creative consultancy services. This resulted in a detailed plan for the attraction’s audio-visual content, which Centre Screen subsequently produced. The company has since edited hundreds of hours of footage to create the series of programmes that guide visitors through Brel’s life.

The exhibition will remain in Brussels until January 2004 before moving to Paris and then to Montreal.

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