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News: 19/09/2019

Finnish Light Artist Kari Kola participates Galway 2020, the European Capital of Culture

Finnish Light Artist Kari Kola participates Galway 2020, the European Capital of Culture

Kola's artwork Savage Beauty turns Connemara Mountains emerald

News / Press release


For Galway 2020, Finnish Light Artist Kari Kola and his team turn their attention to the extraordinary beauty of Connemara mountains, as he will create the largest lit artwork ever made. Exploring the Galway 2020 theme of landscape, he brings the newest technology to highlight one of Ireland’s most famous locations. In a massive illumination, Kola will green the mountain range in a dazzling display of technical virtuosity that will coincide with Ireland’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations.


— This is a ”once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity”, which you shouldn’t miss, smiles Light Artist Kari Kola. To celebrate the Galway European Capital of Culture, I want to create something that all Irish people and people around the world will remember for the rest of their lives! The idea is to make a very large and unique landscape installation for four days. We are playing with the scale and stillness of the place. This work will underline the beautiful nature of Ireland using light art on an unseen scale. The lighted surface will be around 6,000,000 m2, so in terms of a lighted area, this is probably the largest installation ever created, says Kari Kola.



Galway 2020: Creating a Rich Cultural Legacy


Each year for over 30 years, the European Union designates one or more cities as a European Capital of Culture. These cities are expected to produce an innovative year-long cultural programme that highlights the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe. In 2020 Galway, Ireland becomes the European Capital of Culture, a year of extraordinary creativity and disruption.

Galway has long been seen as a cultural hub, a place where people come for a week and stay for good, a place where artists are inspired and people find their place. Galway is extraordinary. This designation gives the city and county an opportunity to thrive to their full potential, to create a sustainable environment for artists to thrive, to create a wonderfully inclusive and creative environment for our children and our children’s children to grow up.

Light Artist Kari Kola’s incredible work will complement the anniversary program in a great way. He developed a love of working with light in Finland, his home country, where the autumns and winters are long and very dark. His professional career has taken him to many unique places including Villa de Laak, the sacred Saana Mountain and Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2017, we saw Kola lead us on a journey through the dark Finnish winter as a series of his spectacular lightwork illuminated the country’s most significant sites, including Saana Mountain.