‘HAPPINESS’ and ‘MUSIC’
The second edition of the Festival of Lights Ghent takes place in the town centre of Ghent from 26 January until 29 January 2012. Last year the free event drew no less than 200,000 visitors, both from Belgium and abroad. An overwhelming success that exceeded by far the organiser’s - the city of Ghent - highest expectations!
He who attended, surely remembers the Old Post Office building being transformed into a fairy tale with dancing monkeys, brushstrokes and a building stirred to life. Equally amazing were the playful luminous ducks on the water, a flower field of lights, the burning belfry tower and the experimental light shows along a 5-kilometre walking route full of light.
That there would be a next edition, was meant to be. At the urgent request of the public, this year’s festival is extended by one day. So a dazzling four-day show it will be. From Thursday 26 January until Sunday 29 January the city’s nights will again be the setting for a surprising spectacle, ingenious creations, spectacular performances and beautiful events, based on light.
This year the light festival’s theme is ‘Happiness’, which is not a coincidence since 2012 is the Maeterlinck Year in Ghent. On 9 November 1911 the Swedish Academy announced it was awarding the Nobel Prize for Literature that year to the author of Ghent origin, Maurice Maeterlinck. In 2011 it is exactly one hundred years ago, that Maurice Maeterlinck earned the highest literary prize and he still is the only Belgian writer to have received this honour. For a long time it remained unnoticed that his hometown Ghent played a distinct part in the evolution of his literary talent. In 1948 Maeterlinck publishing the charming Bulles Bleues, with memories of his childhood in his hometown Ghent.
However, it is the magical fairy tale "L’Oiseau bleu", the Blue Bird, that broaches the subject of happiness. It is a story about the little girl Mytyl and her brother Tyltyl. They are looking for the Blue Bird, because a fairy has told them that the Blue Bird can cure the girl living next door. On their search they go through exciting adventures, however without success. When they arrive back home, they decide to give the girl their own white dove. And then something extraordinary happens: the white pigeon turns blue and the girl gets better. The moral of the story? By giving something of your own, you bring happiness to people’s lives. Artist participating in the Festival of Lights 2012 can use ”happiness” as source of inspiration for their creations.
Music, of course, also makes one happy. Recently, Ghent was honoured with the title of Creative City of Music , by UNESCO. So, in 2012 light and music go hand in hand. Musicians and light artists join efforts to create various and different light projects.
Platform for art academies
Besides spectacular projections and creations, the Festival of Lights also is a perfect opportunity for students and young artists of the art schools KASK and Sint-Lucas and the Secundair Kunstinstituut to show the public their projects and experimental light applications. That is how the Festival of Lights becomes a platform for young and talented artists interested in the art of light.
Thursday 26 January till Sunday 29 January 2012, from 6 PM till midnight (24.00).
The Festival of Ghent takes place in the historical centre of the Ghent. Along the route, the visitor will see many historical places and monuments and he will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy some refreshments.
The route is free.
St Peter’s Abbey: Exhibition L’Oiseau bleu. Chasing Happiness
Together with the Libris Literature Prize winner Bernard De Wulf and the actors of NTGent, St Peter’s Abbey will take on the challenge to bring Maeterlinck’s L’Oiseau bleu to life in an original way. Like the Light Festival, the character The Light is central to the fairy tale dream of two children, Tyltyl and Mytyl, who set out in search of the Bleu Bird. The Light guides them from one adventure to another and immerses the spectator in the bleu extravaganza of L’Oiseau bleu. During the Light Festival you can visit the exhibition L’Oiseau bleu in the St Peter’s Abbey free of charge from 6 pm till midnight.