Brightly illuminating the streets of Polish cities in the past, neon lights faded away and somehow fell into oblivion in the course of history. Nowadays they’re being brought back to life with success in order to reawaken and once again become the original element of city tissue that pleases the eyes of passers-by.
A very unusual event took place in Wrocław on September 23rd. Thanks to the efforts of the Neon Side Wrocław foundation that exists to save and revitalize city neon lights, the backyard at 46th Ruska Street gleamed in its entirety. Since the work on attaching trade signs to the elevation is still in progress, the neon lights exposition has only had its preview. The organizers want to bring the renewed neons to their original context that is city space.
In its constantly growing collection, Neon Side has 45 neons and the most impressive ones illuminated the buildings near Wrocław’s backyard. The place itself is not random. These are new, blossoming artistic and cultural spaces on the city map. Cultural associations will have their offices there, among others the ones preparing the European Capital of Culture which Wrocław will become in 2016!
Neon Side Gallery is the initiative of a group of neon lights lovers thanks to whom it will be possible to admire lights inside and outside of the gallery at 46th Ruska Street. It aspires to become a center for discussions about art as well as to organize cultural events, meetings with artists, exhibitions, and concerts. The gallery’s starting full steam ahead with the end of October.
Neons from the times of Polish People’s Republic with the climate they create and diversities of shapes and letters they show appealed not only to that era’s design lovers but also to BBC that foreshadows the Reawakening of Polish Neon Lights. It is hard to disagree with them. Wroclaw is not in fact the only city that brings together enthusiasts of light signs. From 2012, The Neon Museum operates in Warsaw's Praga district, dealing with the documentation and protection of Polish neon signs created after World War II, and the Poznań Museum is preparing a special exhibition dedicated to Poznań's neon lights.
In PURO we keep our fingers crossed for this kind of passionate initiatives, especially when they happen in our PURO Cities. We also pay homage to the art of illuminating spaces and take pride in presenting our very own neon lights from NIFTY No. 20 restaurant in Poznań. Feel invited to see it for yourself!
Photographs of neon lights thanks to the courtesy of Neon Side Wrocław.