“I have been interested in light for as long as I can remember. Light is everywhere and affects the world and our daily lives in many ways.”
To be a light artist is to know how to create situations and environments by manipulating the play of luminosity. It is to alter and generate new visibilities and locations of known environments, in which we are presented with an unexpected reality by underlining the outlines of forms, making them evident, and thus taking advantage of the light that can be found in the darkness. Simply put – it allows artists to “shed light” on what they so choose and conceal what exists but what they do not wish to be seen.
Games of light and shadow, of unexpected illumination, emerge in the works of the Finnish artist Kari Kola (1978-), who, as a painter, has taken the natural and artificial world as a canvas. Kola empties in the landscape, the detonating dramaticism of lights and shadows generated artificially under a complex technological framework not visible to our eyes.
Kola creates emotional geographies through light games that highlight and express new landscapes and places arising from those already in our memories. This is most significantly expressed in his ephemeral work at Stonehenge in 2018.
The Stonehenge illumination was produced to celebrate UNESCO World Heritage Day and as part of activities to commemorate 100 years of care and conservation of the monument. Kola was the first artist to be given the honor of lighting this ancient sacred space – transforming its physical form in the night’s darkness.
As in all his work, Kola’s stamp is the uniquely dramatic aesthetic his light art compels, which expands each monument it touches, amplifying and elevating it amidst the intentional immateriality of light.