Begin the year brightly

Light shows shower Helsinki landmarks and parks with colour, texture and contrast as 2011 gets started.

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Colour, contrast and texture illuminate Helsinki landmarks and parks when light designer Mikki Kunttu and his colleagues are given free rein.

Lighting designer Mikki Kunttu, who gained the international spotlight with his work on the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki, adds colour and brightness to the Finnish capital with Season of Light until January 9, 2011. He is joined by other designers and performers from Finland, Sweden, Germany and USA.

Shows take place at seven locations, six of which are outdoors, from Esplanade Park to Senate Square to the Parliament building. If you can’t get to Helsinki to see the light, gaze upon our slideshow.

 

Season of Light 2011
 

 
From the top of a purple Unioninkatu (Union Street), you can see the "natural" streetlights and traffic lights in the neighbourhoods of Kaisaniemi and Hakaniemi, backed by the tower of Kallio Church.

From the top of a purple Unioninkatu (Union Street), you can see the "natural" streetlights and traffic lights in the neighbourhoods of Kaisaniemi and Hakaniemi, backed by the tower of Kallio Church.

 
The Walkea Fire Circus ignites audiences three times each evening during Season of Light 2011.

The Walkea Fire Circus ignites audiences three times each evening during Season of Light 2011.

 
The folks behind the fire: Members of the Walkea Fire Circus relax between bouts of torch tumbling.

The folks behind the fire: Members of the Walkea Fire Circus relax between bouts of torch tumbling.

 
Purple to the people: Helsinki Cathedral forms the focal point of Mikki Kunttu's light show <i>Mercy</i>.

Purple to the people: Helsinki Cathedral forms the focal point of Mikki Kunttu’s light show <i>Mercy</i>.

 
Senate Square's statue of Tsar Alexander II receives its share of light in Mikki Kunttu's <i>Mercy</i>.

Senate Square’s statue of Tsar Alexander II receives its share of light in Mikki Kunttu’s <i>Mercy</i>.

 
Visitors are amazed at the variation and effects achieved by the constantly changing interplay of light on the cathedral and the square.

Visitors are amazed at the variation and effects achieved by the constantly changing interplay of light on the cathedral and the square.

 
The LED cross, installed in front of the cathedral especially for the Season of Light, shows a slowly altering pattern. At times an angel-like figure can be discerned.

The LED cross, installed in front of the cathedral especially for the Season of Light, shows a slowly altering pattern. At times an angel-like figure can be discerned.

 
Variations on a theme: As the cross changes colour, so do the lights projected onto the cathedral.

Variations on a theme: As the cross changes colour, so do the lights projected onto the cathedral.

 
Pedestrians on this well-travelled path in Kaisaniemi Park find themselves walking through an installation by Finnish lighting designer Tülay Schakir.

Pedestrians on this well-travelled path in Kaisaniemi Park find themselves walking through an installation by Finnish lighting designer Tülay Schakir.

 
Unique angle: While Swedish artist Per Sundin’s <i>Soul of Suomi</i> plays across the face of the Parliament building, scaffolding still remains outside the nearly complete Helsinki Music Centre across the street. (Note: <i>Suomi</i> means "Finland" in Finnish.)

Unique angle: While Swedish artist Per Sundin’s <i>Soul of Suomi</i> plays across the face of the Parliament building, scaffolding still remains outside the nearly complete Helsinki Music Centre across the street. (Note: <i>Suomi</i> means "Finland" in Finnish.)

 
Inside Sanoma House, the headquarters of daily newspaper <i>Helsingin Sanomat</i>, German artist Ralph Larmann's <i>Stage Emotions</i> acquaints viewers with onstage spaces and atmospheres created using light.

Inside Sanoma House, the headquarters of daily newspaper <i>Helsingin Sanomat</i>, German artist Ralph Larmann’s <i>Stage Emotions</i> acquaints viewers with onstage spaces and atmospheres created using light.

Note: Click the first photo to begin the slideshow. "Next" and "Previous" buttons appear in the top corners when you roll your mouse over the photos.

 

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in downtown Helsinki every evening until January 9, 2011

Try it online: for the Parliament building 

 

Photos by Tim Bird
Text by Peter Marten, updated January 2011

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