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16th Mar 2020

Digital version of ‘Savage Beauty’ light display released in place of public event

Sarah Finnan

Savage Beauty light display

Originally planned as a public event, organisers have released a digital edition of the outdoor display.

Part of the Galway 2020 celebrations, people have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Savage Beauty for weeks now.

Initially planned as an outdoor event from March 14-17, plans have had to change due to restrictions put in place by the government amidst growing Covid-19 concerns. However, keen not to disappoint, organisers have released a digital version so that viewers can still enjoy the exhibit.

Created by Finnish light artist Kari Kola, the display uses light and colour to transform the Connemara mountains into the largest site-specific light artwork ever created.

Described as “a savage beauty” by Oscar Wilde, Connemara is rural Ireland at its most dramatic. Kari Kola’s installation of 1,000 lights spread over a distance of 5 kilometres, washes the mountains in vibrant pulsating colours – bringing its rugged beauty to life.

Speaking of the project’s move to digital, artist Kari Kola said:

“Since I can’t paint, I paint with light. I’m also interested in light beyond its artistic value. Everything on the planet is based on light. I’m working with scientific projects and new, futuristic techniques. With abstract light, there are as many stories as there are viewers.

If I can choose, I always work with nature because that’s the best art that we have. I am very disappointed that the public exhibition of this work had to be cancelled, but I hope that this digital edition will show how we played with scale in Connemara and created something that people would not expect.”

Already having directed over 2,000 projects, the artist’s past work includes the opening ceremony of the Year of Light on the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and Stonehenge.

Helen Marriage, Creative Director of Galway 2020 added:

“While regrettably, we have had to cancel the live exhibitions of Savage Beauty following government guidance on public gatherings due to Covid-19 virus, I’m thrilled that we are able to share this special digital edition so that as many people as possible are able to experience this extraordinary artwork.”

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