Amsterdam Light Festival is currently illuminating the streets and canals of the Dutch capital. The Drawn in Light project by Ralf Westerhof is the very first project to greet – and wow – visitors on the Illuminade walking route, and we chose to share it here to shine brightly as a beacon as we welcome in the New Year!

Westerhof's interest in light design was sparked when he noticed the shadows cast by the sculptures he had created. 'These shadows added an extra layer of depth to the moving line drawings that I had not anticipated,' he comments. 'This artwork is the first sculpture I have created in which the lines themselves emit light.'

Starting from a sketch, metal wires were worked into a 3D structure resembling a scene you would normally expect to see alongside an Amsterdam canal, not suspended above it. Crafted out of powder-coated stainless steel rods that have been hand-bent and welded into the shape of a house, replete with a nearby tree and passing cyclist, it is suspended aloft over the water and lit on four sides by LED theatre lights.

The work is located above the Amstel next to City Hall (the Stopera), on the side of Staalstraat and the Spinoza monument. It is difficult to miss if you pass by in the hours after sun-down, as you will discover the giant outdoor mobile, spinning in its illuminated glory whilst it messes with your head slightly.

Discussing his artwork on the festival website, Westerhof hopes that visitors can really experience the work. 'I hope that visitors will take the time to look at the work, and experience how it might temporarily change their perception of the place they are in at that exact moment.'

Amsterdam Light Festival continues until 19 January.

Photos Janus van den Eijnden



Drawn in Light appears in Frame Publishers' new book – Bright 2 – which features great architectural illumination and light installation projects. To order your copy, go here