Legend lights the path

By | Art & Design
Dedications to Van Gogh's starry night painting is evident globally, seen here at Venice Beach, California. Credit@ Ryan Vaarsi via Flickr.com

In the city of Eindhoven, Netherlands, one man’s tribute to an artistic icon has illuminating results. Inspired by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, artist Daan Roosegaarde has created a 1km bike path that glows in the dark.

Roosegaarde states his desire to combine technology with poetry, to provide a place that aims to be experienced by people, as well as viewed. This beautiful tribute to the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh is both innovative and economical and demonstrates a clear future for design and community development. Instead of another sculpture or design to celebrate this Dutch artist, Roosegarde has infused practicality into his work, creating something that is self-sustainable, free and captures the essence of Van Gogh’s work, life in art.

By teaming up with Heijmans infrastructure, Roosegaarde used thousands of twinkling stones that feature glow-in-the-dark technology and solar-powered LED lights, to create his bike path who’s design was influenced by van Gogh’s infamous starry night piece. This post-impressionism style bike path is part of a larger Van Gogh cycle route in North Brabant, Van Gogh’s homeland.

the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde lit cycle path. Credit@ Studio Roosegaarde via Flickr.com

the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde lit cycle path. Credit@ Studio Roosegaarde via Flickr.com

The entire cycle route in 335 kilometres long and split into 5 individual trips, each taking a day to complete and connecting several Van Gogh heritage sites in North Brabant, where the artist was born and raised.

This 19th century post-impressionist painter and his works were renowned for their bold colours and emotional honesty with an often unrefined consistency. While alive, Van Gogh’s work was available to few and admired by fewer still, until the mid 20th century after numerous posthumous exhibitions of his work throughout Europe were seen and experienced by the next generations of artists. Van Gogh is considered by many, both then and now, to be a great and influential artist.

The Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path which officially opened on November 13, marks the beginning of Van Gogh 2015 a year of diverse cultural events held in France, Netherlands and Belgium to honour the 125th anniversary of the passing of Van Gogh (1853-1890). The Van Gogh Europe Foundation is formed from several international museums who collaborate together in promoting the Van Gogh heritage and aims to become prominent figures in the year to come regarding the Van Gogh celebration.

The Piazza building within the centre of Eindhoven, another example of innovative construction. Credit@ wiki.com

The Piazza building within the centre of Eindhoven, another example of innovative construction. Credit@ wiki.com

Nicknamed ‘125 years of inspiration’ Van Gogh 2015 intends to honour the artist for his ability to stimulate people to this day, that through his work, he is still very much alive. Exhibitions, digital applications, tributes and displays will be created throughout the year to honour Van Gogh and the creations he painted that still hold sway today.

Rousing the next generation is considered a main functionality of art, just like Daan Roosegaarde, whose collaboration with Heijmans infrastructure helped create the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path and well as many other projects throughout the Netherlands. Including a series called ‘smart highways’ a concept combining light, energy and road signs that aim to react according to the present traffic situation. Another example of technology and art evolving into an innovation of art and design.

Roosegaarde’s work lives under the thesis that art might be lived instead of just viewed. That art and design can be incorporated into the everyday environment, as both a tribute to an artist of the past and as inspiration for the generations to come. Using modern technology ensures this method of artistry may flourish and continue to adapt, displaying the idea that art might become a process of practically and beauty.

How else might artistic masterpieces blend into modern day design?

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