Portam Civitatis

This spooky, blue and purple illuminated pavilion with its pointy towers and arches might remind you of the many Gothic churches that were constructed all over Europe between 1140 and 1500, like the impressive Notre Dame in Paris or the Old Church in Amsterdam. 

There’s an important distinction between Snijder’s installation and these Gothic churches: the materials used by Snijder are nothing like the heavy stones and enormous glass windows from which those colossal structures were erected. Portam Civitatis is a simple construction of fragile threads that light up like drawn lines with the help of UV lights. The installation looks kind of like a spatial blueprint, Snijder’s own design for a fantasised architectural structure in a new (or old?) alternative city. It’s part of a series of light artworks created by Snijder in which he brings to life gothic designs in different environments, from a flat pond to a church building. 

Snijder brings his vision to life using light, seamlessly merging his ‘universe’ in the urban environment. And that is what makes light so special: it can reveal objects, spaces and ideas that would otherwise remain invisible. We can see, do and experience more as a result of light; our world can become bigger and our imaginations a reality.

About the artist

The Belgian self-proclaimed ‘artist-inventor’ Peter Snijder (1974) always incorporates light in his artworks. He prefers to use found or obtained materials and builds his architecture-like constructions himself, designed in his personal, imaginative design language. Snijder thinks that it’s important that his installations are not ‘just’ an object; they must leave an impression and spark your imagination.

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© Bart Heemskerk
© Janus van der Eijnden