It’s the week leading up to Reykjavik Winter Light festival taking place from the 6th to the 15th of February in the Icelandic capital. Curated Place and Visit Reykjavik, with the support of Nordic Culture Point, have developed five major new installations for exhibition at the festival bringing together artists from Greenland, Iceland, Denmark, Canada, Norway and the UK. The stunning light installations will take place across the whole city centre along with a packed events programme. We're in the final stages of turning Reykjavik city central into a glowing masterpiece and we'll try to find time to share insights about each artwork, the idea behind each, and the artists involved over the next few days.
First up: Waking the City Statues by Krisján Gunnar Kristjánsson
Icelander Kristján Gunnar Krisjánsson, a lighting designer and guerrilla lighting aficionado, is working with Örvar Halldórsson to transform the sculpture garden behind Einar Jónsson’s Art Museum into a mystical place.
Bringing together a team that delivers skills across music, animation, motion graphics and of course lighting design, Kristján and his team will use projectors with multimedia video to bring three of the main statues to life - seeing them move, exhibit emotions and and even change facial expressions. Projections onto the museum's wall, smoke machines and field recordings of city sounds will transport the audience to a magical world with the aim to leave them in a dream-like state. Albeit not necessarily a peaceful one.
The sculpture garden was formally opened in June 1984 displaying 26 bronze casts of Einar Jónsson's work. Known for exploring themes of deep Cosmic spirituality like the eternal, infinite body and consciousness of the universe, and for an obsession with Icelandic Mythology, Jonsson's muse populated his world with Gods, Demons, Elfs and the "Huldufolk" hidden people - Vættir, Jötnar, angels and trolls. Now regarded as something of a quiet formal art space in the city the garden had a dramatically different effect on a young Kristján leading him to his choice of location for his installation "I want to give the people of Reykjavik an understanding of how I felt when encountering these works as a child" he explained "they gave me nightmares".