optical glade: day twelve

We have almost finished painting the Glade. Tomorrow the scaffolding comes down and the space will be revealed. What will also be revealed are several hundreds of kilometres of hand-painted edges between black and white; no one line painted by one person, every one a collaborative work shared between seven painters (my own presence included). At least two coats of paint. And once the scaffolding is down we have one more day to complete the second/third coats of paint on the wall area accessible from the floor, which will make it thirteen days that we have spent clambering on increasingly wobbly and loose-feeling poles and planks, thirteen days covered in blue chalk dust or black paint or white paint or all three.


Here is some blurb which I have just spent some of Sunday writing; whilst, incidentally, some kind of mad procession of what looked like 19th Century soldiers, a load of uniformed children (scouts? guides? army cadets?) and be-robed priests swinging silver incense things and carrying effigies of saints passed extremely noisily for ages outside in the street. Trumpets and tubas and stuff like that.

Anyway, sorry, I’d temporarily forgotten about this morning’s entertainment. Anyway, the blurb:

About the Optical Glade

Year: 2017

Title: Optical Glade

By: Stanley Donwood

Painted by: Stanley Donwood, Ralf Nevels, Jack Reubsaet, Jeroen van Bergen, Etienne van Berlo, Erik Habets and Jeroen Everts.

Optical Glade represents a sacred space, in the form of a stylised ring of upturned trees, the fluted trunks descending from the octagonal light-well at the apex of the Bonnefanten’s cupola, and the branches and twigs of the trees wrapping around the walls to create the illusion of a moonlit shadow-cage, a haven – or a trap. Inspired by the forest glades of northern Europe and the ancient and mysterious ‘sea-henge’ uncovered by a violent winter storm in the east of England, Optical Glade intends to transport visitors to somewhere they’re not.

This work has evolved from original drawings via linocut, digital photograph, 3D CAD model, perforated template, chalk-dust dots and pencil lines to this black and white painted glade.

No single line was painted by only one person – it is the result of seven individual painters each with their own style working together to create a harmonic space. There are no straight lines in nature, and there are none in the Optical Glade.


14th May 2017