Belgian artist unveils 'largest public light sculpture ever' in Saudi Arabian desert

On Friday, the Noor Festival opened in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, featuring more than 120 installations by 100 artists from 40 countries, including the "largest public light sculpture ever" by Belgian artist Arne Quinze.

Noor Riyadh is said to be the largest light festival in the world and will illuminate the city and its surroundings until 19 November. As part of the festival, Quinze will unveil his work, 'Oasis', in the desert north of Riyadh, aiming to immerse the spectator in "the unbridled beauty and diversity of nature."

"Our cities can learn so much from nature’s diversity. It is a crucial moment in time to bring colour and nature back into our society," Quinze stated in a press release.

The construction, made of aluminium and LED light, was designed especially for the Noor Festival. 32 metres long and 16 metres high, it forms "the largest lighting installation ever in the Saudi Arabian desert," according to the artist.

Quinze’s own wildflower garden served as the main inspiration for the light installation, as he wanted the work to bring vibrancy to the arid desert landscape and bring back nature to places where it has been forgotten.

"Since my birth in 1971, more than 30% of our flora and fauna has disappeared because of our human intervention," he said. "I see it as my duty as an artist to plant a seed in your mind with my artwork and inspire you to join me in rethinking our society and empowering nature."

In 2006, Quinze also built the largest wooden sculpture – 'Uchronia' – in the Nevada desert for Burning Man in the US.


Oasis by Arne Quinze © Arne Quinze

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