February 7, 2011

La Chimie

When I walk home from work, I pass by L’Opera in Lille. When I moved to the big city, Marché de Noël paraphernalia occupied la place du Théâtre in front of the Opera. By the third week of Januray, however, the Christmas decorations had been packed away and I was just beginning to get used to the empty space.

France had other plans, however. When walking home from work last Friday, instead of a big empty space I discovered giant, green, grass-like plastic pieces.

Photo of l'oeure by Vincent Leroy taken by FBF

It turns out that this art was part of an event called “l’art en la matière” taking place all over France in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry, complete with a green chemistry conference in little old Lille. As luck would have it, FBF is a science nerd, and was recruited by his chemistry professors to work the event.

The art installation was indeed supposed to look like grass, and was installed in such a way that it would move with the wind. But even more than that, it was created with a type of plastic that emits more light than it takes in, sort of imitating photosynthesis. Going with the celebration of green chemistry, this type of plastic would allow us to emit a lot less electricity if used for light up signs (I’m thinking those bright green pharmacy crosses that are all over France).

There were other art displays in Lyon, Marseille, and Paris, each focusing on a different area of importance for green chemistry.


  1. Very cool installation to stumble upon in your little vie quotidienne. And nice shot - it really captures that sense of light emission.

  2. How cool! I really thought it was grass! I was wondering how it is possible that Lille could look so much more "spring-y" than Verdun! I need to visit...I've never been!

  3. Leslie: It was really cool to walk through! I felt like I was in a tall grass field. I'll pass your compliment along to FBF!

    Brenna:Haha, trust me, we are far from Spring over here! It's still very cold in le nord and very rarely sunny. You should definitely visit! It's a fun city and the 4th largest metropolitan area in France!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...