Altaplana, world of Francois Schuiten and Benoit Peeters

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Voyages lumineux (les)

Les voyages lumineux is an artwork of a giant squid, straight out of Jules Verne's novel “20 000 leagues under the sea”, that will welcome visitors to the square in front of Amiens railway station. Its project name was Octopus garden 1).

The idea is envisioned in 2019 by artistic director François Schuiten, landscape gardener Thierry Huau, designer Pierre Matter and lighting designer agency Hervé Audibert,

The first phase included the installation of bamboos from 8 to 12 meters high, thus vegetating the station area which was very empty. A luminous and sonorous fresco will enliven the whole 2). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic work on the artwork was delayed.

Interscene / F. Schuiten / P. Matter / Atelier Audibert

The first images of the light projection were published in 2021.

Original engravings from 5 major novels by Jules Verne are projected with light on a 4-meter high water wall. The five novels are:

  • 5 weeks in a balloon
  • 20 miles under the sea
  • Journey to the centre of the earth
  • From the Earth to the Moon
  • Robur the Conqueror

To be seen every evening from 5.30pm to 9.30pm in front of the railway station.

Another short video published in February 2023 by the city of Amiens.

The second phase of the project will see the arrival of the giant bronze squid, which will come alive by twirling its long tentacles in the middle of a giant bamboo plantation and a supernatural and fantastic mist 3). This phase by sculptor Pierre Matter is projected for 2023.

Interscene / F. Schuiten / P. Matter / Atelier Audibert

This art work is the first stage of the future journey “in the footsteps of Jules Verne” which will pass through the circus, the town hall, the Madeleine cemetery and of course the Maison de Jules Verne 4). his project will also and above all make it possible to identify Amiens as THE city of Jules Verne, where he lived, where he was elected municipal councillor and where he is now buried 5).

The design of the sculpture is made by François Schuiten. The design was revealed during 24es Rendez-Vous de la Bande Dessinée d'Amiens.

Bruno Letort will be responsible for the sounds and music. The music piece “Black Museum” was recorded in March 2020.

The music was mixed in Octophonic sound at studio Dada by Bruno Letort in December 2021.

Le mystérieux retour du Capitaine Nemo

During a meeting in Amiens in June 2022 François Schuiten talked about the Octopus Garden. The development of the sculpture is going slowly. It even seems that the final sculpture isn't fit for the projected place in front of the train station. A new place is being searched for. During the meeting François also confirmed that the next album of the Obscure Cities will take place in Amiens.

Nicolas Rivoal made the following pictures of this event.

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