THE LIGHT PAINTERS COME TO BERLIN
More than a year ago, Gunnar, Marla, Erik and Sven sat together for the first time to plan our vision of an international light painting meeting. We quickly agreed on how the event should be designed. We also quickly agreed on a date, 5 October 2019. We started to invite light painting artists from all over the world. Most of them were enthusiastic and immediately agreed to participate.
First we had to find a suitable location, not so easy in Berlin. We were able to quickly cross most locations off the list due to the daily rent in the five-digit euro range. Some locations were unsuitable for other reasons. With the Monopol, Gunnar found a location perfectly suited for our Light Up Berlin event. The first contact with the people of the Monopol was very pleasant and they showed themselves to be very interested and open, although uninitiated by such art.
A DREAM COME TRUE
Light Up Berlin was intended to be a mixture of lectures, workshops, exhibition and exchange of like-minded and interested people. We also wanted to arouse the interest in light painting of people not yet familiar with the subject. We are also very interested in young people. It was important to us that the fun should not be neglected, that the event should be entertaining and that the great sense of community that arose at previous meetings could be conveyed. The idea of Light Painting Meetups is not new, but we did not want to disappoint our guests’ expectations. Our intention was not to practice Light Painting only in an exclusive, small circle of selected Light Painting artists, but to invite everybody who is interested in Light Painting.
Gradually our guests for the event arrived in Berlin. Rob Turney and Denis Smith actually made the long journey from Australia to support us. Dan Chick and Reagen Nguyen also came all the way from Colorado. From the Big Island (UK) Phil Fisher, Mart Barras and Tom Hill travelled and from the mainland of the continent came from France, Stabeu, Mass and Dilliz, from Belgium Palateth, from Spain Iris Cebrián – Shyrroii, Ivan Barco de Angelina and Vikthor Clarke, from Portugal Natália Cerqueira. Maria Saggese supported us from Italy, Roland Brei and Marcel Kaul from Switzerland and Chris Noelle from Austria. We were also supported by German light painters, including Dennis Berka, “Mr. Fotobox” Bernhard Rauscher (thanks again for the organisation and execution) and EMD our lighting directors. After all, Light Up Berlin was not an established event. We couldn’t predict for sure whether 20 or 200 people would attend the event.
For the artists who had arrived, we arranged a small supporting programme on Thursday as a thank you for your support. After a tour of the Monopol, there was a little handicraft lesson. Together we built light painting tools out of glass. It was a fascinating experience and the results were quite impressive. Many thanks to Berlin Glas e.V. for this special experience. Not far from the Monopol there is a small pizzeria, which we liked to visit several times. I think the waiters were happy when the crazy pack of light painters finally left. It wasn’t particularly quiet, as we had a lot to talk about and talk shop. Short agreements were made and the event got its final touch. On Friday, Light Up Berlin still had to be “set up”, event rooms prepared, monitors for the gallery set up and the power supply and lighting installed. In the evening, groups met for light painting.
5 OCTOBER – THINGS GOT SERIOUS
We from the organisation team were very excited, so many things could still go wrong. The first surprise of the day was not long in coming. Due to the heavy rain of the previous night and a blocked drain, the entrance to the exhibition was under water and the door could no longer be opened. Our guests immediately pitched in to solve the problems. Pala Teth opened the door with his superhuman strength, Garry Krätz managed to clear the drain so that the water could flow out. Now the water was quickly swept out of the vestibule of the exhibition and it looked as if nothing had ever happened. At 12:00 noon, all the helpers and artists met for the briefing. Shortly afterwards, the first guests arrived. Fortunately, everything went without any major problems and the tension slowly eased.
You can find all the pictures of the exhibition here: Exhibition. Out of over 200 paintings submitted, 83 were selected by the 9 curators for the Light Painting exhibition. The paintings were shown on 13 large monitors in a separate room. During the event at least one Light Painting artist was in the exhibition to answer the questions of the guests. We looked into many astonished faces of the visitors when they realised that the pictures were real photographs and not computer montages as mostly assumed. At the latest after a visit to the Photo Booth or one of the numerous workshops, no one had any doubts anymore. We believe that we have already infected one or two people with the light painting virus.
This programme item was organised by Bernhard Rauscher alias Lumenman. Throughout the event, visitors could make Light Painting portraits of various artists and have them printed out at the bar. Some Light Painting artists were so in their element that they overstayed their time “a little” and joined in with the followers. A portrait painted by three or four light painters at the same time is not something you get every day.
Here is a small selection of the pictures:
Many light painting artists offered short workshops of one to one and a half hours during the event. These took place in different rooms of the Monopol. The crowd was very large, with many more participants at the meeting point than originally planned. The topics of the workshops were very diverse, from portraits to light blading to light painting with the support of virtual reality. You can find the complete programme here.
In retrospect, the programme was perhaps a bit too packed. On the one hand, almost all visitors were able to attend at least one workshop, on the other hand, they had to decide at many points which programme item they would rather attend. For the next Light Up Berlin, we will certainly plan more breaks and organise fewer workshops and lectures at the same time.
Our location was put in the right light by Garry Krätz and Heinz-Jörg Wurzbacher. The two have years of experience in illuminating a wide variety of buildings. And they did a great job here too. Thanks a lot guys!
On Sunday we were exhausted but happy, very happy. The event went (almost) smoothly. On Saturday we looked into so many happy faces of the artists and visitors and had many interesting conversations, for that alone all the efforts were worth it. Even three weeks after Light Up Berlin, we still haven’t processed all the impressions and feelings. A great day for our special art form Light Painting was the 5th of October 2019 in any case. Furthermore, we are still overwhelmed to have met so many passionate, friendly, good-humoured light painters and people interested in light painting. We will never forget this special day.
DANKE – THANKS – MERCI – GRACIAS – GRAZIE – OBRIGADO
First of all, we would like to thank the organising team. Without the perfect, absolutely professional cooperation, we definitely wouldn’t have rocked the thing. Thank you Erik. Thank you Gunnar. Thank you Dominic. Thank you Natalia and thank you Matti.
The artists – without you Light Up Berlin would never have existed. Some of you have travelled unimaginable distances to be there. We miss you already and hope to see you again soon.
Without the many hard-working helpers we would not have been able to stage the event smoothly. Many thanks to all of you.
Many thanks to the supporters, especially to Wolfgang, Karin and Manuel, who actively supported us during the event.
Special thanks to the Monopol for opening your doors for Light Up Berlin and supporting us at the event.
And of course we thank all the visitors.
Until the next #LightUpBerlin always good light
Sven und Marla