What does it mean to live in a part of the world that has limited daylight during the winter and almost endless daylight during the summer? Nordiska museet’s themed initiative Nordic Light fills the Great Hall with activities and an exhibition about how light has shaped us, and how we have shaped light, from dawn to dusk and from fireplace to PH lamp.
“The Nordic light is unique; only a few per cent of the Earth’s population live in these kinds of light conditions. What was it like to have ten tallow candles to get by on for a whole year? Imagine having to light and tend a fire every single day, and think about how the light bulb and street lighting made a difference to people’s lives after sunset,” says Maria Maxén, Curator at the Nordiska museet.
“We focus on different aspects of light in the Nordic region: light in cultural history, traditions, form and lamp design, and the Northern Lights as a natural light phenomenon. We also have a packed programme of activities linked to light. There’s something for everyone, from inquisitive children to people with an interest in design,” says Amanda Creutzer, Project Manager and Exhibition Producer at Nordiska museet.
Nordic Light looks at how light – whether from nature or man-made technology – affects the way we live our lives. We exhibit over 100 years of Nordic lamp design, in a visual timeline showing how the design of lamps has changed in the Nordic region since the arrival of electricity. Visitors can experience the fascination of the Northern Lights, experiment at light tables and reflect on the significance of light in the traditions of Halloween, Advent, Nowruz (‘New Day’), Walpurgis Night and Midsummer. In The Journey of Light, a path for children through the exhibition, the youngest visitors can discover the journey from darkness to electricity, and they can use a magic light to see things that other people can’t.
The theme also includes programme activities linked to the festivals of Halloween, Lucia and Christmas, as well as a series of lectures on the history of lighting, light and sleep, and the role of light in our traditions. A programme catalogue presents the theme and Nordiska museet’s work during the year (in Swedish with an English summary).
Nordic Light runs from 29 October 2016 at Nordiska museet.
Maria Maxén, Expert Curator
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Amanda Creutzer, Exhibition Producer Nordic Light
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Annika Gooch, Project Manager, programme activities
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Lotta Wallgren, Press Contact
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Nordic Light – a cultural history sub-section from darkness to light, designed by JoAnn Tan Studio
Shapes of Light – a design history section on Nordic lights and lamps through the ages, designed by Note Design Studio.
Light experience – experienced-based Northern Lights exhibition and light experiments. Designed by Lumination, Ljuslabbet and Visual Act, as well as Note Design Studio.
Light in Traditions – on the festivals of Halloween, Advent, Nowruz (‘New Day’), Walpurgis Night and Midsummer. Designed by Cecilia Undemark Péterfy.