Juicy Lights

Submitted by Titia Ex

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Project

Client: City of Amsterdam

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $300,000

Project Team

Client

City of Amsterdam

District West Amsterdam

Artist

Titia Ex

Overview

Juicy Lights, 6 large, stylized, stainless steel bunches of grapes (8 ft) hang from cables over the Ten Kate market in Amsterdam. The bunch of grapes symbolizes life's natural resources as expressed in the poem ‘De Schepping’ (The Creation) by pastor and poet J.J.L. ten Kate, after whom the street is named. During the day, the “grapes’” reflective surfaces mirror the activity of the busy street below. At night, however, they transform into a mesmerizing display, teasing wanderers by seeping drops of coloured light onto the road, creating oscillating puddles of radiance glowing and pulsating in the dark.

Goals

Most of Ex's sculptures are produced on invitation at specific locations in either urban or rural areas. Each situation poses a specific question that the artist explores in depth and for which she provides possible answers. Her answers provide a concrete opportunity to engage with the location in a different way via the light sculptures. She creates an experience and thereby demonstrates a great sense of aesthetics. With her sculptures Titia Ex is searching for a designed form of beauty. She especially stimulates sensory curiosity. She consequently never does anything obvious. Her dynamic, whimsical, site-specific light sculptures are carefully planned and created for public enjoyment. Her work affirms that art should be a common good, gratis and available to be experienced by all, regardless of one’s class. Public art is a leveler, something that has become indispensable to city life; it brings communities together giving neighborhoods a stronger sentiment of belonging and sense of identity, which jointly create a more cohesive and productive society. Public art, whether situated in urban or rural areas, systematically augments the social, cultural, and economic value of its location, and changes the way people experience their environment.

Process

Amsterdam public space has gained a wonderful artwork and its realization is thanks to the initiative from the residents of the Ten Katestraat and the stallholders of the Ten Kate Market. When the market street was being refurbished they asked for a light artwork that would provide an atmosphere, even when the market was not there. An artwork that contributes to the liveliness and a feeling of security in the street. After an extensive selection procedure residents and business-owners chose the design by Titia Ex, which fits in extremely well with the character of the neighbourhood: diverse, colourful and vigorous. Titia Ex has interpreted this initiative into the unique artwork Juicy Lights. Bunches of ripe grapes that will reflect the colourfulness of the market and its visitors during the day. While in the evening people can enjoy an extraordinary light show that turns the Ten Katestraat into an extra special experience. On behalf of the Amsterdam Executive Committee, District West, Fenna Ulichki.