The team Skopje 2028 had a meeting with the Finnish light artist Kari Kola. A world-renowned artist who produced more than 2,000 installations in unique locations, illuminating UNESCO’s Paris headquarters for the opening of the 2015 Year of Light, lighting Stonehenge for World Heritage Day in 2018 and certainly the opening of Galloway European Capital of Culture 2020 with the largest site-specific light artwork ever created – “Savage Beauty”.
Bearing the experience in collaboration as part of the artistic program of the Galloway (Ireland) 2020 and the planned collaboration with the ECoC city candidate Savolina (Finland) 2026, the meeting with Kari Kola acquainted us with the process of artistic collaboration within ECoC and the methods of development and implementation of a light artwork in a large site-specific location. Also, we talked about the specificities of a local context and how they influence the development of an idea and a concept for artwork, as well as about the importance of the educational aspect by transferring knowledge to local artists, technical teams and citizens, who are involved in the process of development of the artwork.
The Skopje visit of Kari Kola was organized by the City Institution Universal Hall, as part of the program of the international festival of light art Skopje Light Art District. During the visit, the artist had the chance to visit various historical and cultural sites and natural landmarks in the country, as potential locations for possible collaboration within the program of this year’s festival edition.
We used this occasion also to make a short video interview with Kari Kola, which soon will be presented as part of the “ECoC Talks” series.