Lighting Up Amsterdam with Art

Dutch artist Victor Engbers (previously at Neatorama) has created a light installation called Homeward Bound for the Amsterdam Light Festival. The lights are installed in the masts of the East Indiaman replica ship Amsterdam at the National Maritime Museum near the old city harbor. It is one of many artworks of light scattered about the city's canals for the festival. From the artist:

The work is based on the St. Elmo's fire, a weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a coronal discharge from pointed objects such as masts. The phenomenon occurs mostly during or after a thunderstorm, when the air is electrically charged. Sailors considered the mysterious lights to be a good omen: the appearance meant they believed they would make it home safely. It is named after St. Erasmus, the patron saint of sailors and it has been described by the likes of Homer, Shakespeare, Melville and Hergé (in: Tintin in Tibet).

With this work, the artist is propelling the idea that in dark times, we can and should rely on hope.

Continue reading to see more pictures from photographer Janus van den Eijnden. 

A classical depiction of St. Elmo's Fire. And now the modern version.

(All photographs credit: Janus van den Eijnden)

Homeward Bound is on display until January 21. -Thanks, Victor!


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