It is difficult to express the sheer delight the visitor experiences upon stepping into this exhibition. The ancient limestone quarry sits below the medieval town of Les Baux and covers over 7000 meters with walls more than 15 meters high. Entering the quarry it feels as though you’ve stepped into an ancient temple–surrounded by towering white stone walls and extending into shadowy recesses, the great space itself adds to the experience. Music echoes through the area combining with projected images that shimmer and circle the stone walls, fading into and out of one visual delight to the next. You feel as though you are standing at the center of a kaleidoscope, looking out rather than looking in, the light filled space shifting colorfully around you.
In the first of the two exhibitions, Dreamed Japan unfolds as images of huge fans slowly open and close, sea creatures float across a dark ocean floor and cherry blossoms drift in masses of pink petals. This is followed by a longer segment focusing on the art of Vincent Van Gogh. Famous works such as The Potato Eaters and Dr. Gachet are interspersed with paintings of fields and rivers whose luminous surface undulates, mesmerizing the viewer. Self-portraits, cathedrals and landscapes melt into Van Gogh’s iconic irises and sunflowers only to be eclipsed by the dark blues and vibrant whites of Starry Night. The show ends with Van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Crows, the painting spreading in yellow gold across the floor and walls, the dark “v”s of the crows flying like winged messengers of death across the shimmering surfaces.
Organized under the auspices of CultureSpaces, Carrières de Lumières is an immersive art experience that is not to be missed. Created by Gianfranco Iannuzzi, Renato Gatto and Massimiliano Siccardi it is an unforgettable journey for children and adults. If you’re planning a visit to France and you want to include this exhibition, make plans in advance as tickets sell out fast.
This exhibition is open from March 1, 2019 to January 5, 2020.