Photo: JW Kaldenbach. Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn. Courtesy of Studio Drift.

Charlotte, NC (September 9, 2019): The Mint Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the first solo museum exhibition outside Europe by Studio Drift, an artist collective based in the Netherlands that uses technology in art to illuminate the power and beauty of nature. The exhibition, Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint, will run from September 20, 2019 to April 26, 2020 at Mint Museum Uptown, and will feature five works created over the last decade, including one installation making its international premiere at the Mint. PNC Bank is the presenting sponsor.

Studio Drift was founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta, 40, and Lonneke Gordijn, 39, who established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Academy Eindhoven. Based in Amsterdam, the studio has grown to more than 20 artists, technologists/engineers and more, with Nauta and Gordijn at the helm. Studio Drift’s work is lauded in art circles worldwide for using man-made technology to show the beauty of nature. And they do it in a way that inspires awe and meditation, a way to invite the viewer to consider technological possibilities.

At Burning Man in 2017, Studio Drift unveiled its Tree of Ténéré, a towering, lifelike tree illuminated by 175,000 LED lights that people could climb. At NASA’s 50th-anniversary celebration for the Apollo 11 moon landing, Studio Drift presented its performance piece Franchise Freedom, which consisted of 600 Intel drones soaring through the night sky, simulating the flight pattern of starlings. Iconic ‘80s rock band Duran Duran played during the performance.

A room-sized art instillation made of pipes and dandelions curing from the floor to the ceiling

Studio Drift. Fragile Future 3, 2018, installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

One of Studio Drift’s most iconic works, Fragile Future—which will be on display at the Mint—is comprised of natural elements. The Fragile Future installation is made from hundreds of tiny dandelion seeds hand-glued, seed by seed, onto LED lights and held together by bronze electrical circuits. Nearby will be Amplitude, an installation made of 20 large but delicate glass wings that moves smoothly to suggest a giant bird in flight—another nod to the ability of manmade technology to highlight the beauty of nature.

The exhibition also will include the world premiere of Studio Drift’s new work: Coded Coincidence on Mint Museum Uptown’s Level 5 expansion space. Museum visitors will be able to walk through a massive plexiglass chamber, while more than a dozen steerable wind blowers direct and lift elm seeds to swirl around the viewer. The project was inspired by the many elm trees in Amsterdam and is also a fitting nod to Charlotte’s vast tree canopy.

Immersed in Light has also inspired a local partnership with the Charlotte Ballet. For the ballet’s annual Innovative Works performance Jan. 25–Feb. 6, artistic director Hope Muir has commissioned two choreographers to create an experimental ballet inspired by Studio Drift’s exhibition at the Mint. The dancers will perform in the galleries, and a video presentation of the dance will be broadcast at the Innovative Works shows.

“I am so excited for this opportunity for Charlotte Ballet to collaborate with The Mint Museum and Studio Drift,” says Hope Muir, Charlotte Ballet’s artistic director. “We are always searching for ways to connect with different art forms, and we can’t wait to see what emerges from this innovative partnership between dance and visual art.”
Guests attending the opening-day celebration for Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint on Sept. 20 at Mint Museum Uptown, will be able to meet Drift co-founders Gordijn and Nauta. Godijn will discuss her work and inspiration at 6 PM Friday at Mint Museum Uptown.

Undulating glass pipes forming repetitive geometric figures. The pipes hang from the ceiling in a large spacious room.

Studio Drift. Amplitude, 2017, installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

The exhibition is presented by PNC Bank, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary and Duke Energy – Piedmont Natural Gas. This program is also supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA  program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.

Immersed in Light also benefits from media partnership and in-kind support from Wheelhouse Media, The Charlotte Observer, QC Exclusive, Le Meredien Charlotte, Peachy the Magazine, Pride Magazine, and Rite-Lite.



About Studio Drift

Studio Drift was founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta, 40, and Lonneke Gordijn, 39, who established their studio in 2007, after graduating from the prestigious Academy Eindhoven. Based in Amsterdam, the studio has since grown to more than 20, including artists, technologists/engineers, and more, with Nauta and Gordijn at the helm. In their installations and interactive sculptures, the relationship between nature, humans, and technology is key. Studio Drift is represented by Pace Gallery taking part in the gallery’s Future\Pace program, and is also represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

About The Mint Museum

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.