Some might say that February is the longest month of the year. Despite its short number of days, it is the month in which you really feel the Danish cold and dark Winter – and get fed up with it.
Well, think again. Copenhagen Light Festival is here for the second February in a row.
And it really does light up the dark.
On the opening night this Friday I go to Englandsparken in Copenhagen S (Amager). Several minutes before I reach the spot, I am welcomed by a warm beat and a light arrow to show me the way in from the late afternoon darkness. By the entrance to the park I am greeted by this fellow.
Inside I give up on counting the lights, not to mention the bulbs!
(Don’t worry, from what I could see most of it was LEDs).
The creators of this spot have really let their fantasy flow on how to use light in every thinkable way. You might even be tempted to say that the sky is the limit … but that is too cliché, so I will spare you 🙂 But let yourself be fascinated by how many different colours you can find in pitch-black darkness.
Speaking of fantasy, Povl Søndergaards statue from 1941 has probably never imagined herself like this. This “sporty girl” is really dressed for the occasion.
The purpose of Copenhagen Light Festival is to let art and light design create space and growth for activities that make use of the citizens’ enthusiasm for the spaces that the city already has. As they put it: “Light art is extremely expressive, but quiet, leaving a room for meditative experience and common contemplation”
That is why my favourite pieces are the ones that work with the objects which are already there. Like trees. Look at the snakelike lightning here. And do notice the blue flashes in the background. Yes, this is the police playing along. Normally, this would be a no-go, but tonight is an exception to let everyone come and greet the police and know about their work.
No playing without food and drink – especially not in Denmark 🙂 But unlike most Friday night’s gathering there is no alcohol, which makes everyone of all ages feel welcome.
However, Winter calls for warm beverages, so the coffee-salesman has the busiest corner on the market, including this nice lighted up sign.
It says “coffee” in Danish.
Another Danish tradition is to gather around a table to enjoy your food once you have it.
Even in this dark and very cold Winter people get together with delicious soup, around the few picnic tables in the park – or just standing, hanging around.
But life in the park is also spiced up by the crisp sound of soul and diabolic disco-beats.
DJ Simon Dokkedal (from Danish pro.-scratchers “Den Sorte Skole”) does a great job at the desk. The music somehow mixes in with the cold to create a not-so-distant-memory of much warmer months to come.
Bless him for keeping us warm with great tunes.
Art takes many forms, and I must praise the creativity in Copenhagen Light Festival. Also when it comes to emphasize Winter and coldness.
Look at these beautiful snowflakes dangling from a tree. They make me think of the papercut-letters Danish children send during Easter to ask the receiver to guess who the sender is – if they don’t, they will owe an Easter egg to the happy sender.
However, I must say I prefer this kind of light, underneath the snowflakes. Aaaahhh!
“Get lost in the maze and see if you can find the heart of its centre”, says the challenge on a sign outside. As a child I loved labyrinths, so I am in.
“Can someone please show me the way out. I have been here for hours,” says a man with a smug smile (to the amusement of three young children) as a turn my back to another dead end – and find the heart. Which turns out to be a bright pink art-light in 80s retro-style.
From outside the labyrinth looks like this.
You don’t have to watch many minutes before you can see that the children are the brave ones. Eager to find their way they move ahead of their foot-dragging (scared!) parents.
If you want to have a go at the Labyrinth of Light, visit Englandsparken in Copenhagen S (Amager).
If you want to admire the many pieces of art made with light, visit the locations in Copenhagen. Much of it is free to create your own meditative space (but of course you must pay to enter the venues which normally charges you a fare).
PS: When the Copenhagen Light Festival is over it is nearly March. Which means dark Winter is over 🙂 Hold on! Daylight will be back before you know it.