“For those of us living in the north the sun or lack of it has an immense impact on our lives. We wanted to bring the SUN from Oslo to Tromsø as a gesture. To take The SUN on the road trip was an essential part of the work. By documenting the trip on our blog, we allow viewers to share the trip with us.”
Christine Istad and Lisa Pacini have been working together with various art installations for the past four years. We are two of four members of the art group Open Space. In the winter of 2012 the group had an exhibition at Tromsø Center for Contemporary Art, which is in the north of Norway. While planning for the show, we got the idea to take the SUN from Oslo to Tromsø. Oslo still has direct sun-light at this time of year, where as Tromsø has no direct sunlight for approximately three months. We mounted the SUN on an open flatbed trailer. The SUN was lit the whole 1009 miles from Oslo to Tromsø. The SUN travelled through the Norwegian landscape on roads that would challenge any veteran snow and ice driver. The SUN was installed outside on the second floor façade of the art center from November to February.
The SUN is a circular light sculpture, three meters in diameter, that shifts between a range of warm colors, pink, red, yellow, white and back again. The light sculpture is constructed of an aluminum frame and PVC canvas that covers the frame. The aluminum frame is 20 cm wide. The sculpture weighs about 80 kg. The light system consists of LED’s chains on the inside of the sculpture, and LED strips on the back of the object that gives the SUN a halo effect when hung on a flat surface. It has one plug that plugs into any normal electric socket. It uses approximately 300 watts. The SUN sculpture is transported on a frame. The frame is designed to be easily mounted on a flatbed trailer with screws. The sculpture can easily be lifted with straps attached on a back frame of the sculpture.
The SUN travelled on an eight day voyage on the coastal liner from Tromsø to Kirkenes to Bergen on the top deck of M/S Nordkapp Hurtigruten 15th – 22th of February 2013. Sometimes referred to as Norwegian Coastal Express, Hurtigruten ships sail almost the entire length of the country. The trip has been described as the “World’s Most Beautiful Sea Voyage.”
The SUN was invited to hang on the wall at USF Verftet in Bergen from 6th of March to 30th of August 2013. USF Verftet is a major institution for art, film and music in Bergen, Norway.
The SUN was the first artwork to be invited to represent Norway in London 18th to 22th of September 2013 during the London Design Festival. It was installed on the facade of The Tent and the exhibition 100% Norway. This year’s 10th anniversary exhibition had a special focus on lighting.
The original idea was to make a site-specific installation on the second floor façade of the Tromsø Center for Contemporary Art during the darkest time of year. When we came up with the idea of “bringing the sun” to Tromsø it became apparent in order to further develop the project we should actually physically bring it with us and document the journey. The result was that the project became more a performative artwork and not just a sculpture. The installation is perceived very differently as a traveling artwork as opposed to when it is mounted temporarily on a structure.
The size of the work has made it very complicated and costly to transport and we are dependent on getting funding every time it’s moved. This has been a challenge, but with hard work and our belief in the project we have succeeded until now. As artists the project always captivates our interest because it changes in each venue and scenario and creates a new experience each time it is moved.
The future of the SUN
In the winter of 2014 will the SUN be hanging on the second floor façade of The Culture House at Rjukan. Rjukan was formerly a significant industrial centre in Telemark, Norway, established in 1905 when Norsk Hydro started production there. Rjukan was chosen because Rjukanfossen, a 104-metre waterfall, provided easy means of generating large quantities of electricity. This small valley between towering mountains is without a visible sun for approximately six months. It is our intention to continue to travel around in the northern hemisphere in the future with the SUN.
Featured videa: Traveling SUN, © IstadPacini,www.artubeart.blogspot.no
All images © IstadPacini,www.artubeart.blogspot.no