Daan Roosegaarde’s SPARK wins the 2022 Dutch Creativity Awards

Daan Roosegaarde – Studio Roosegaarde,

David Levene,


Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde’s Studio Roosegarde and Media.Monks have won the prestigious 2022 Dutch Creativity Awards for SPARK: a poetic performance in which thousands of biodegradable sparks of light float organically in the air. The artist drew his inspiration from the magical light of fireflies in this new version of the ritual of fireworks.

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Daan Roosegaarde’s SPARK wins the 2022 Dutch Creativity Awards 
As we all know, and have written before, fireworks are both a blessing and a curse: we all love those marvellous choreographies of light, but feel guilty about their impact on the environment. 
Fortunately there are now sustainable alternatives, such as SPARK, created by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde, founder of Studio Roosegaarde, with Media.Monks. We had occasion to write about them earlier this year, when the Wellbeing Summit for Social Change was held in Bilbao, Spain, in June: the world’s first event promoting individual and collective wellbeing in ways ranging from neuroscience to the visual and performing arts.
The fact is that every year, people spend billions of euros on fireworks: a product with a negative impact that can damage or pollute nature and cause harm to both animals and human beings. More and more cities around the world are prohibiting fireworks. So how can we continue to enjoy the sensations fireworks have to offer, in a more sustainable way? Artist Daan Roosegaarde is convinced that such problems are merely the result of poor human design, and so he set to work and came up with SPARK, an organic firework performance that uses thousands of biodegradable lights organically floating through the air, rising up to 50 metres off the ground and visible for miles around. Rising and falling on natural air currents, SPARK is visual poetry in motion, designed specifically to invoke feelings of interconnectedness between humans and nature.
The beauty of this visual performance has been experienced not only in Bilbao in June, but in August in London, during the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival 2022 (GDIF). GDIF is a free annual festival of art, theatre, dance and circus performances that transformed the public spaces of Greenwich and East London for 18 days of free events between 26 August and 11 September. GDIF artistic director Bradley Hemmings, MBE, explained why he chose SPARK to open the event: "GDIF has always set out to reflect the evolving story of Greenwich and East London and large-scale spectacle has always been part of this. I’m therefore hugely honoured that Daan Roosegaarde’s SPARK will receive its UK premiere at GDIF, reminding us of the importance of our connection with the natural world, and the power of awe and wonder to bring us together“.
This solution combining beauty with sustainability to offer that primordial amazement we all enjoy experiencing won the 2022 Dutch Creativity Awards, a prize for proposals, ranging from major campaigns to minor collateral projects, by outstanding creative artists and artisans whose work stands out for its quality, passion and positive impact on the world. 
SPARK offers a new kind of celebration that resonates with nature and our spirits, without giving up wonder and joy. The project underlines the difference between external celebration and internal experience, offering an excellent alternative to the classic fireworks display.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Studio Roosegaarde
Location: London, UK
Year: 2022
Film: Media.Monks directed by Jan Kooyman and Jos van Meerveld. 
Images: Roberto Conte