SCHOTT solutions no. 2/2012 > Light Art

Giny Vos’s artworks use tree trunks, glass tubing and LEDs to create a mysteriously beautiful place permeated by light. Borosilicate glass tubing exhibits a high degree of impact resistance, withstands temperature changes, resists scratches and offers light-fastness. In other words, it is perfectly suited for outdoor use. Photo: SCHOTT/H. Cock

Creating Something New Without Replacing what is Old

The Dutch artist Giny Vos used tree trunks, glass tubes and LEDs to create ”The Window of Your Eyes,” a dramatic symbiosis of natural materials and modern, sustainable technology.

Christine Fuhr

Her artworks cannot be found ”hiding” in galleries or museums, but rather integrated into public areas whereeveryone can see and experience them. Her works attract the viewer’s attention, make environmental aspects more visible and create a different impression of them in both literary and figurative terms. Her works also reflect her fascination with science and technology. Light on the move, whether by video, computer, neon or LED displays, represents an important means of expression and design in the oeuvre of the renowned Dutch artist Giny Vos (52). For the installation and light artist born in Rotterdam, however, the main focus isn’t on the physical existence of her light works, but rather the processes they initiate. Her installations tell their own stories. They not only physically exist, but also actively communicate with their environment and extend the local experience. ”The work allows the current situation to appear in a new light and creates something new without forcing what is already there to disappear,” Giny Vos explains.
Giny Vos, shown here attending the inauguration of “The Window of Your Eyes,” has been realizing installations involving light in public areas since 1985. Her studio is located in Amsterdam. Photo: SCHOTT/H. Cock
On the other hand, her latest work ”The Window of Your Eyes” on the provincial government’s grounds in the Dutch city of Assen demonstrates how real existing surroundings can have an impact on the artistic experience. Giny Vos allowed herself to be inspired by the countryside she found here with its impressive, historic oak avenue and deepened natural atrium that was probably used to hold assemblies and parliamentary sessions back in the Middle Ages.

The installation in the middle of the park-like area was realized with the help of tree trunks, glass tubing and LEDs – a perfect symbiosis of natural elements and modern, sustain-able technology. 200 tree trunks four meters in length form a grid inside which dynamic light effects enchant the viewer. The light flows in every direction, shines, goes out again, flashes, takes on different colors and shapes that range from bright to soft-glowing. The 11 centimeter thick trunks are positioned 85 centimeters apart to enable the viewer to walk between them without difficulty. The trunks are joined together in the middle at different heights by transparent DURATAN® glass tubes from SCHOTT that are 80 to 120 centimeters in length.

”We found the perfect solution for this project with thermally toughened DURATAN®. When it came to the dimensions of the tubes, we chose an outside diameter of 110 millimeters, a wall thickness of 7 millimeters, and a length of between 1,000 and 1,500 millimeters,” explains Hanneke Velders from SCHOTT Benelux. More than 2,300 LEDs have been attached to the special glass tubes, of which three multicolor lights each form a light point.

This offers the audience a play with light that appears to be almost mystical both from a distance or right in the middle – an opportunity to reflect and contemplate. ”In my fantasy, I wanted ’The Window of Your Eyes’ to be a place to meet, a home, a mysteriously beautiful place permeated by light,” Vos notes. The feedback clearly shows that her fantasy has become a reality. A reality that might well shine well beyond the borders of the capital city of the Dutch province of Drenthe, at least this is what the people responsible are hoping. <|