Fareeha Aneel wanted to do something different and fun with her kids, ages three and 10, on Family Day.
She drove from Scarborough to Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto to enjoy the last day of an outdoor winter exhibition called Nordic Bridges.
“It’s quite amazing for the kids like having this experience,” she said. “In winter there’s not much to do.”
Aneel said it’s inspiring for kids in school to see what can be done with electricity and sound.
“They are excited to do different things,” she said.
The exhibition was a collaboration between artists from eight Nordic countries including Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway, with Canadian visual designers.
The illuminating experience went from video art projections of contemporary dance combined with dynamic figures appearing at the rhythm of music on one side of the The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, to several hanging swings for children to swing on a seat made from transparent acrylic that is lit from within by a strip of high-powered LEDs.
The cultural event was brought by Norwegian artist and curator Anastasia Isachsen and producer Frank Isachsen. They worked in collaboration with Harbourfront Centre to bring art pieces from different light art festivals in Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
Aleksandra Stratimirovic, one of the artists participating in the project, said the collaboration between Nordic countries and Canada is logical because they all experience light in a peculiar way.
“The need for light is more appreciated in countries where darkness is part of our lives for a big part of the year,” she said.
Stratimirovic said light events are appreciated everywhere because light is something that has the power to connect people and create magic, especially for places that experience long, cold and dark winters like Canada.
Great Minds, Stratimirovic’s piece, was originally designed for the Nobel Week Lights festival inspired by the minds of Nobel Prize winners. It was first shown in 2021 on the facade of the Royal Dramatic Theatre Building, one of the most spectacular art nouveau buildings in Sweden, dating from 1908.
“It’s a dynamic work that tells stories through the light,” she said.
The concept involves two fluorescent brains that change colour, representing a dialog that symbolises the brainstorming and origin of an idea.
Stratimirovic said as a visual artist she enjoys working with light as a creative tool because it creates different atmospheres and touches people in a particular way.
“That’s what I like to do,” she said. “Offered through my work these inspiring moments.”
The Swedish artist said she likes to make art easy to transport because every place gives something different to the story.
She said she loves working for museums and galleries but there’s “something special when you experience something unpredictable in places where you didn’t expect.”