SpY’s ‘Cones’ Installation: A Vibrant Transformation at Ghent University

a large building
  • “Cones” (2023) is a dynamic installation by Spanish artist SpY at Ghent University, integrating hundreds of traffic cones into neoclassical architecture.
  • This temporary installation transformed the facade of Aula Academica, highlighting the use of everyday objects in art.
  • The artwork served as a prelude to the 2024 Lichtfestival in Ghent, Belgium, enhancing the urban landscape with a vibrant, orange glow.

In late 2023, Ghent University’s Aula Academica became the canvas for extraordinary artistic expression by the renowned Spanish artist SpY. His latest installation, “Cones,” is a captivating blend of urban art and architectural heritage, turning the regal stone facade into a mesmerizing spectacle.

Reimagining Everyday Objects

SpY‘s innovative approach to art is vividly displayed in “Cones.” By enveloping the neoclassical columns in hundreds of bright orange traffic cones, the artist redefines their aesthetic and functional value. These ubiquitous objects, often overlooked in daily life, are transformed into a striking visual element, creating a spiny thicket that challenges our perception of urban materials.

a close up of a brick building

Illuminating the Night

The installation transcends daylight aesthetics. At night, light plays a crucial role, casting an inviting orange glow that enlivens the entire vicinity. This nocturnal transformation not only accentuates the artwork’s physical features but also creates an immersive experience for the viewers, making it a beacon of warmth and creativity in the urban nightscape.

A Prelude to Lichtfestival 2024

“Cones” served as a preliminary showcase for the upcoming 2024 Lichtfestival in Ghent. This strategic placement not only enhanced the anticipation for the festival but also demonstrated the potential of integrating contemporary art into historical settings. The installation’s short lifespan added to its allure, offering a fleeting yet unforgettable visual narrative.

a close up of a coral

SpY’s “Cones” is a testament to the transformative power of art in public spaces. By repurposing simple traffic cones, the artist invites us to reconsider our surroundings and find beauty in the mundane. As a precursor to Ghent’s Lichtfestival, it sets a high bar for artistic innovation and urban renewal.