Every year in January, Helsinki organises a free light art festival across the city: Lux Helsinki. In several locations around the city centre installations from Finnish and international artists can be seen. Yesterday, I braved the cold (this time at felt -28°C) to have a look around for you. Luckily, this year all the installations are pretty close together, so it didn’t involve too much walking in the cold.
Some people have asked me what to wear in these kind of temperatures. I’m still experimenting myself… there’s a handy little video from Yle Oulu, which shows how to dress for various degrees of freezing. Yesterday, I wore two pairs of thermal trousers, legwarmers, jeans, socks, skiing socks, winter boots, thermal vest, t-shirt, hoodie, woollen jumper, winter coat, cashmere scarf, woolly scarf, Russian hat and two pairs of gloves. It felt like I was wearing my own weight in clothing. This was enough to stay outside for approximately 15 minutes, after which face, and also fingers and toes started to freeze anyway.
Back to Lux, there were some installations I particularly enjoyed. “The Cloud“ consists of 6,000 lightbulbs and many “raindrops” hanging from it, from which single bulbs can be switched on and off. “Nowhere” is perfectly placed in the middle of a street over the entrance to a car park which doesn’t have any other big signage, so it might just as well lead to nowhere. Finally, my favourite was the exhibit titled “They were here“: Along a small, quiet street, ghostly figures of people who may have wandered along here in the past were placed. The figures are made of wire sprayed with fluorescent paint, so do not have any light sources themselves. They did create a really special atmosphere in the dark!