Helder licht – 2016

Den Helder - The Netherlands

In 2016, the first addition of the light festival in Den Helder called ‘Helder Licht’ began with a single light object on the former facade of the V&D in Beatrixstraat near Den Helder Station. The theme of the festival was ‘departing and returning’, and residents could participate by submitting bottle mail, love letters, and digital messages, which were projected in the city center.

Over the years, the light festival has grown into a major attraction, with a variety of light installations, well-known artists, and activities that draw interest from all over the region. Pronorm has been involved in this festival from the beginning. This year, Pronorm worked on this single light object on the former facade of the V&D in Beatrixstraat with Machteld Aardse. Which created a light art work called ‘O Vaarwel! vergeet mij niet’ (Oh Farewell! Don’t forget me), which they created with Femke Kempkes on the 46 m facade of the former V&D in the city center.

Den Helder has always been a hub of coming and going, reflecting the ebb and flow of the tides. Whether it was the prolonged bombardment of World War II or the shorter trips of fishing boats, shipping, and the Royal Navy, people have always been leaving and returning to this port. This movement of departure and reunion inspired artists Femke Kempkes and Machteld Aardse to create their light projection, which ran from December 18, 2016, to February 8, 2017. The title of the book by Peter Hovestad and Jan T. Bremer, ‘Ach ik bid en smeek u, laat mij terugkomen in Den Helder’ (Oh, I pray and beg you, let me return to Den Helder), perfectly captured the desire for reunion that the artists aimed to evoke. The light projection utilized three digital beamers with 30 slides for the facade and four beamers with 24 slides for the carousel.

The festival, now known as ‘Helder Licht’, has become a must-see event in Den Helder, drawing visitors from far and wide. Pronorm’s contributions have been an integral part of the festival’s success, as they have helped to make ‘Helder Licht’ a true concept, with an ever-growing number of captivating light installations and engaging activities. 

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