Permanent Light Artwork: Loom Light
Photo: Jan Timmer
6 November 2020

Permanent Light Artwork: Loom Light

Last week, the light monument by visual artist Titia Ex was installed, a tribute to Jan Zwartendijk, and many other invisible heroes of resistance from the region during the Second World War. The interactive lightwork, entitled "Loom Light", marks 75 years of living in freedom. The work, with a diameter of approximately 3.50 meters, extends from 4.50 meters to almost 6 meters high.

Philipsman Jan Zwartendijk

Jan Zwartendijk (1886 - 1976) was director of the Philips office in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1939. When the Second World War broke out, the Dutch government in exile appointed Zwartendijk deputy consul in Lithuania. In that capacity, he saved the lives of Jewish refugees in this country by issuing them visas for Curacao in July 1940. He created this escape route in collaboration with the Japanese ambassador Chiune Sigihara, amongst others. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and the Russian annexation of Lithuania in 1940, the Jewish in Lithuania had to fear for their lives.

Loom Light, The monument

Titia Ex emphatically opts for a dynamic monument that refers to this history and that also moves with our time. It is a book in which you never get leafed out and always find new insights. She invites the viewer to experience the many meanings she has put into it. The work is also interactive and responds to the approaching visitor. The artist transforms this conscious action into a dynamic light motif. With this, Ex indicates how important the acting role (even small) of each individual is, in giving direction to the future.

Titia Ex: “The work changes shape and moves with you. During the day, the monument reflects the sunlight. In the evening, a feast of lights is created referring to the Hanukkiah, in which the light is lit by an invisible hand for eight days. It is a tribute to Jan Zwartendijk and the countlesss invisibles who have engaged to save lives.”

The sculpture is located at the intersection on the former NRE energy site in Eindhoven. This placement allows you to come across the light monument differently from every direction. From the Kanaalstraat or Nachtegaallaan you mainly experience a meter-high gate of light. The flowing energy of the monument comes and goes in and out of the earth in a V-shape. The sacrifice of countless people, the deep black period that preceded our freedom. Up close you will discover the layered, irregularly bulging skin of the sculpture. You experience the energy of constantly changing lights, both in tone and saturation.

Technical innovations

Commissioner is the Municipality of Eindhoven. Entirely in the tradition of Philips and Eindhoven Designstad, Titia Ex opted for innovations in her design. The lighting design runs through a parametric model that generates light behavior. This creates a light image that seems to live by dynamically adapting to its surroundings. The RGB LED lighting (20,439 LEDs) is mounted on a metal construction. All other parts are made from 450 kg of recycled plastics, including old CDs; a finding by Philips. Grey, 3D-printed, grid-shaped columns are mounted over the LEDs to give the light a more diffuse appearance and the sculpture more depth. The skin of the artwork is semi-transparent and finished with a transparent UV coating. One of the challenges in the sculpture is the organic non-repetitive horizontal pattern in the 3D print while the vertical pattern had to continue in the different parts to be assembled. This pattern creates an effect of depth that influences the light shades, which evokes a soft, misty atmosphere.

More permanent light artworks.