January may feel boring after the Christmas season but not in Helsinki!
Last year I visited the LUX Helsinki light festival for the first time but it’s actually been arranged since 2012. The festival lasts five days (6.-9.1.17) from 5 to 10 pm and it’s free of charge for all visitors. This year people braved freezing temperatures to see what the artists had created for us.
Let’s have a look at some of my favourite pieces. Our tour started in front of Kappeli at the Espa stage with Jenni Kääriäinen’s a Shade.
a Shade is a mosaic made up of thousands of anonymous x-rays. The artist’s installation conveys how light leaves a mark – a memory. It was actually quite eerie and oppressive as the music and lights added to the mood. I think that art is supposed to make you feel something, so that certainly happened here.
Walking along the Espa, you could see the lights at the Market Square from afar.
All the beautiful buildings by the waterfront were illuminated by changing colors of light.
What this must’ve looked like from the sea!
I was most looking forward to the white Stora Enso building designed by Alvar Aalto being lighted up.
The animation, Cube by Shader, was accompanied with music. In it, analogue and digital, nature and technology, old and new were mixed together.
Here’s a quick peek at the area via video.
It was easy to go around even without a map, as the installations were marked with yellow LUX signs and arrows. Very handy indeed, as taking out my phone in the freezing temperature was not an easy affair.
Last year I was most impressed with the light installations reflected on the Helsinki Cathedral. This year all four sides were illuminated by the Domus 360° – Four Homes.
Kaisa Salmi’s Ronda had such rich colors that you could not love it.
Still, my best-loved out of the four was Outi Pieski’s waterfalls – Gorži. The water pours out of the windows of the Helsinki Cathedral chapel. The installation celebrates the start of a centenary year for the Sami people. According to the Sami people’s tradition nature is equal to man. Often environmental protection and climate issues come up when talking about the rights of indigenous people – so the waterfalls are quite fitting. It really was beautiful, maybe my favourite piece of the whole festival.
On the Senate Square Rölli Ridanpää and Tero Laine had created Light Pipes. The installation was interactive and you could adjust the brightness of the lamps yourself by turning the valves. This, people could work together to make the city dim or shine in brightness.
I love the courtyard of Univeristy of Helsinki’s Topelia building. Now it was even more special as The Flowers of Life had taken over. It was possible to walk through the garden and enjoy all the magic of light!
Kalle Mustonen’s TELLMEHOWDOIFEEL was super cute. It references to the song Blue Monday by New Order. The installation is constructed out of wood. This would make the perfect Instagram photo wouldn’t it?
How do you feel about a festival like this? I must admit that I’m in love with the festival. I’m glad that City of Helsinki arranges events outside in the winter too. This time of year tends to be a bit dull and dark, so a lights brightening up Helsinki and bringing people together is just the perfect thing.
Did you visit LUX Helsinki this year? If so, what was your favourite piece?