Light is an opportunity for the dark season
Ilkka Paloniemi, the artistic director of Lux Helsinki, wrote the head article to January's edition of Helsinki This Week magazine. We are happy publish the editorial with the permission of the magazine.
In Finland, the year paces itself according to the seasons. We enjoy an abundance of natural light during the summer months, but must primarily rely on artificial sources of illumination in wintertime.
It is natural for people to yearn for the light. If the lighting of our everyday environment here in Finland were more interesting and of a higher quality, we might be able to take a more positive view of the winter darkness instead of letting it cause us anxiety. In place of travelling south to look for sunshine, we could see the winter as a source of joy and illuminate our environs to honour the white season. This is an opportunity that should be seized during the dark months of the year.
The dim months of winter serve as a magnificent setting for Lux Helsinki. The festival provides our everyday cityscape with a shot in the arm in the middle of the darkest time of year. Art is brought out of galleries and museums into the urban environment: Lux Helsinki's high-quality light art also opens the doors to city spaces that are rarely visited by the public. This event is aimed at the whole family and it encourages participants to discover fresh perspectives on Helsinki and use their smart phones to record digital memories of unique moments that are fun to recall.
Lux Helsinki 2015 celebrates our city's 20-year history of light-themed events. This tradition is rooted in the Forces of Light event, which was first held in 1995. Lux Helsinki is now being arranged for the seventh time and it continues on the path set out by Forces of Light.
The year-round positive influence of light on personal wellbeing is widely recognised. The city's permanent light fixtures could also be more daring – it would make sense for urban planners and builders to make more use of the ideas of creative artists.
Art is supposed to spur debate. As a modern urban event, Lux Helsinki will also showcase topical and divisive themes in order to distinguish itself from more entertainment-oriented light events. In accordance with this theme, Lux Helsinki 2015 will focus especially on works that engage the public.
Lux Helsinki transforms the city into something like a giant theatre, with spectators themselves playing important roles in plays staged at several venues.
Information container will serve the public on Senate Square from 4 to 8 Jan
The Lux Helsinki information container on Senate Square will serve the public during the festival from 3 pm to 9 pm on 4–8 January (or until 10 pm if visitor numbers suffice). The container will provide information on the festival, artworks, routes, the additional programme and on moving around in Helsinki.
Note! Printed programmes will not be distributed from the information container. A limited number of these will be available at the City of Helsinki Tourist Office (Pohjoisesplanadi 19) and the festival's partner restaurants.
We recommend that festival-goers use the map found on either the front page or the Map menu of our website, on their mobile devices.
You can also print out your own version and bring it along (the files open as PDF versions by clicking the link):
- Route map
Light artworks at Lux Helsinki 2015 will encourage audience participation
The Lux Helsinki light festival will offer an experience engaging all five senses, in the dark of midwinter from Sunday 4 to Thursday 8 January 2015. Now being organised for the seventh time, Lux Helsinki is suitable for the whole family and entry is free of charge.
A route formed from light artworks will attract people to Helsinki City Centre and out towards Senate Square, as well as to the neighbourhood of the Kansalaistori Park. You can enjoy the artworks during short visits while going home from work, or take them all in during a single session. The artworks will be on display in a total of 13 places around the centre of Helsinki, from the courtyard of the Tori Quarters to Finlandia Hall. A total of 17 individual artworks will be included.
Lux Helsinki 2015 will celebrate the 20-year history of light events in Helsinki. The festival is part of the UN's International Year of Light 2015.
The festival will bring art out of the galleries and museums onto the streets. Impressive light artworks will be provided by the most exciting light and media artists and sound designers from Finland, Germany, France, Belgium and Japan. Some of the artworks will be interactive and allow audience participation. Seven of the works are being commissioned for the first time accompanied by a wide selection of the best of the international light festivals.
The installations can be viewed daily and continuously from 5 pm to 10 pm. Only the fire show by Fire Circus Walkea will have set performance times at 5 pm and 8 pm.
The event’s Artistic Director is Ilkka Paloniemi and the Technical Director is Matti Jykylä. Sun Effects Ltd is in charge of production.
The Lux Helsinki festival is organised by the City of Helsinki. Entry to the event is free of charge.