Thursday Salute to Originals: Not Michelangelo’s Kind of Mural

Europe has no shortage of stunning churches and chapels. With massive vaulted ceilings, meticulous architectural details, and incredibly intricate life-like murals adorning the walls and ceilings, it’s no wonder these buildings draw admirers from all over the world. But as if there wasn’t already enough reason to look up, one artist has used technology to give these antiquated beauties a psychedelic facelift that is sure to have you tilting your head towards the ceiling.


Artist Miguel Chevalier has created a vivid and ever-changing “mural” on the vaulted ceiling of the Durham Cathedral in England. Using virtual interweaving meshes of projected light, the vaulted ceiling becomes a canvas for a dazzling morphing and twisting light show triggered by programming cues and visitor movement. (No, this certainly is not Michelangelo’s kind of fresco!).


The ceiling looks alive as the webs form, deform, and then reform again. Perception of the architecture and the space are distorted as the structure seemingly ripples in tandem with the shifting colors, shapes, and sizes of the light waves.


The still images are quite captivating in their own right. But watch the video and you’ll be fully entranced in the psychedelic morphing of these vibrant meshes of light.

Though very different from traditional murals like that of the Sistine Chapel, Chevalier’s light paintings prove that modern technology can intrigue, complement, and enhance architecture just as beautifully as antiquated art. And that alone deserves our Thursday Salute! Though it’s clearly way beyond his time, we can’t help but hypothesize how different the Sistine Chapel may have been if Michelangelo worked with light as his medium instead of paint.

Image Credits: designboom