From the 6th to the 15th February 2014 Reykjavik Winter Light Festival spectacularly illuminated the darkness of the North Atlantic winter with Curated Place delivering a series of artworks throughout the city.
(Photography: Roman Gerasymenko)
With over 200 events spanning the festival period we worked closely with Visit Reykjavik (with the support of Nordic Culture Point) to develop and deliver a series of major new art works at its centre bringing together artists from Greenland, Iceland, Denmark, Canada, Norway and the UK.
Our work brought together experienced light artists, enabling them to realise works of scale, as well as providing a platform for experimentation and professional development of established visual artists seeking to develop their work into the realms of lighting and the public-realm.
WAKING THE CITY STATUES:
Icelandic lighting designer and guerrilla lighting aficionado Kristján Gunnar Kristjánsson works with CCP game design director Örvar Halldórsson bringing together their skills of lighting design and motion graphics wizardry to wake the city statues in the garden of the Einar Jonsson Museum.
Kristján Kristjánsson and Örvr Halldórsson’s work brings together 10 years experience in architectural lighting design and 15 years’ experience in multimedia design. Their work has explored light in every context from light pollution, to the use of lighting in urban environments through to the banning of the incandescent light-bulb.
Taking visitors into the belly of an enormous instrument Lys*Arp transformed the birch copses of Tjornin into a magical, contemplative space. A series of lengths of electroluminescent light wire (EL wire) are tied to rigid formers, arching to mimic the shape, scale and length of a tunnel or canopy. Each length of EL wire is programmed through a MIDI to DMX, synchronised with the sound of an original stringed instrument soundtrack; as the viewer passes through the tunnel of illuminated arches, an improvised soundscape emerges as though each length of EL wire is being gently plucked by a musicians fingers.
Ulf Pedersen has been working as an artist in the public realm for some 12 years now. His work is light-based and more recently, he has been exploring a sound element. Much of his work over recent years has been in outdoor locations and public spaces. He is part of the Power Plant collective who established the Durham Luminaire and have been touring in Asia & Australia with future events planned for 2014 in Wellington & Christchurch, NZ (www.powerplant.org.uk).
ON THE BRIDGE:
On the Bridge is a large and stunning light installation with connotations of the magical – drawing on the Scandinavian fairytale “De tre Bukke Bruse”. Using light, motion detectors and a low hanging fog the City Hall bridge was illuminated with colour changing light, creating a sculptural and ephemeral cloud symbolic of a magical light creature which lives under the bridge – reacting by changing colours every time someone ventures over the bridge.
Tine Bech is an artist and researcher working with interactive sculpture and public art. Her artwork has been shown both nationally and internationally. Her projects centre on the use of interactive electronics and location tracking technology, urban places and environmental elements such as gravity, water, sound and light, to develop spaces where participation, play and collaboration happen. Her public art is site-sensitive (often in unexpected places) and aims to challenge both our common assumptions about art and to question accepted public behaviour – don’t touch in galleries, don’t interact in public spaces.
Circle 6 is a Spiritual Light Installation by the multi-national team of Inuk Silis Høegh (Greenland/Denmark), Arild M. Kalseth (Norway), and Amelie Deschamps(France/Canada). Circle 6 is a three dimensional experimental light installation built around the concept and practice of a healing circle – a healing machine embracing the energy and aura of light.
A single ovoid form houses an interactive and responsive light installation controlled through gestures of audience members willing to engage with the structure. Drawing inspiration from ancient sites of worship the work aimed to suggest a spiritual, ritualistic and transformative purpose yet to be discovered and experienced by audiences led by performers who enact healing rituals as part of the work.
Inuk Silis Høegh is a multi-artist. He is known for making films, TV and visual arts, always with a sparkle in his eye. Renowned for starting Greenland’s own army through his “Melting the Barracades” project and recently transforming the Great Hall at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottowa into a monumental Iceberg. He has worked with the concept of the male role model in several of his pieces, the effect often being a clash of old and new, a mixture of natural- and industrial processed materials.
Reykjavik based British Artist Kitty Von-Sometime, creator of The Weird Girls Project, drew inspiration from the magic of bioluminescence to create an environment of reactive jellyfish to take over the city streets. Created in the Curated Place studios we worked with the artists, providing the engineers and technicians to realise every aspect of the work from concept to delivery in Reykjavik.
Kitty Von-Sometime is a producer, director, artist and DJ. She is internationally renowned for The Weird Girls Project – an ongoing art experiment focused on personal empowerment that evolves ‘Episode’ by ‘Episode’ with an ever growing community of contributors – all ordinary women rather than professional actresses or models.
Wider Festival Programme:
Alongside the light installations the festival framed a series of hugely successful cultural events that brought focus to the city’s cultural offer:
Denver Calling Reykjavik Concert
On February 6, after the opening ceremonies, top musicians from Denver and Iceland collaborated in cross-cultural celebration at the Denver Calling concert in Reykjavik. Tyler Ludwick (Princess Music), Esme Patterson (Paper Bird) and Jesse Elliot (Ark Life) performed alongside Icelandic artists Hogni Egilsson (Hjaltalin & Gus Gus), Lay Low and Snorri Helgason.
Taking inspiration from the light installations Friday February 7 was Museum Night, seeing forty museums across the capital area open their doors to the public for free until midnight, illuminated by the works throughout the city streets.
Another hugely popular festival feature was pool night held on Saturday February 15. From 8pm to midnight, guests could enjoy Laugardalslaug, Sundhöll and Grafarvogslaug swimming pools free of charge – all uniquely illuminated by artworks and installations especially for the festival.