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21/12 2011

Light and Christmas, different forms of expression

During the Christmas period there are many events in which light is protagonist.
In Cesenatico from the first Sunday of December till the Epiphany, the boats of the floating section of the Marine Museum become the stage of the Marine Crib. The crib was born in 1986 and is the work of the artists Tinin Mantegazza, Maurizio Bertoni and Mino Savadori, from an original idea of Guerrino Gardini.

These are not only traditional statues , but characters inspired by the lives of ordinary people in a fishing village: fishermen, carpenters, puppeteers, fishmongers, a woman with the piadina (fleat bread), children and musicians. Together with the Holy Family and the traditional shepherds, we can see someone who is mending his nets, leading the boats or selling fish; without neglecting singular particulars as the presence of a group of dolphins looking out the water with curiosity.

The statues are life-size: faces, hands, feet and all exposed parts are etched in pine wood ; the clothes are made of cloth stiffened by the brushwork hot wax on wooden structures which have been strengthened throught a metal frame molded to desired shape. The result is a very effective scene, made more suggestive by the lights of the boats reflected on the water.

The figures are thought as elements of a performance, that can be admired from the banks of the Leonardo Canal Port just like an audience. The atmosphere becomes magic at nightfall because thousands of lights give life to the figures.

Really suggestive the new edition, the 14th edition of Luci d’Artista in Turin. Also this year the light installation illuminate the city streets, squares, and arcades of Turin, until January the 15th, 2012.
Seven of these lights remained lit until July 2011, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, a kind of artistic homage to this special birthday.
This year there are nineteen lights. two new acquisitions of the last edition Rehberger and Ferrero and two lights “on loan”. The first is Flamingo of Pitaya Design, coming from the Fête des Lumière of Lyon, the second is an itinerant light, E adesso usciremo a rivedere le stelle of Maurizio Agostinetto.
And then all the others, from the Blue Spirits to the special Flying Carpet with the colours of the Italian flag, from the “differences” of Pistoletto to the Planetarium of Via Pietro Micca.


The creative driving force behind this year’s version of the event took us far beyond the glorious fantasy world evoked by the previous versions. This year the element which lies behind all of the fantastical traditions and legends of various cultures across the globe is Mythology.
Our ancestors looked to mythology for explanations of natural and astronomical phenomena, as if trying to control their cause and effect. In this version of the show the various pieces portray some of the phenomena which gave rise to the most extraordinary legends. In Salerno this year, mythology is under the spotlight and we hope that the mythological scenes and characters displayed inspire the same wonder and amazement in modern day spectators as they did in the ancients.

Villa Comunale Park – Historic Centre: THE ENCHANTED GARDEN
Largo Campo Square: WINTER GARDEN
Corso Vittorio Emanuele: PLANETS AND FALLING STARS
Via Velia: THE MOSAIC by Enrica Borghi
Via Diaz, via Quaranta e via Manzo: THE MYTH by Nello Ferrigno
Via Guercio, via Baratta e via Mobilio: THE NORTH WIND
Main streets of the Eastern quarter of the city: THE REGATTA

Also in the world of painting, this Christmas has a new “light”
“Georges de La Tour in Milan.” Palazzo Marino, Sala Alessi. Until January the 8th.
Two paintings by”candlelight”: «San Giuseppe falegname» (1640 ca) and «L’Adorazione dei pastori» (1644).
The paintings highlight the skill of the artist to illuminate scenes and spaces plunged into darkness, with the effects of artificial lights that light up the faces of the characters. So Joseph is at work, while the child Jesus, motionless and absorbed, has a candle that illuminates his face, in a specific game of reflections, from the child’s face light propagates in the dark room, and underlines the gestures of the carpenter, the working tools, but also the contrasts between the wonder expression of Jesus and the grim expression of Joseph, aware of the tragic fate of his son. In the Adorazione Joseph holds in his hand a candle that illuminates Mary and the shepherds, in silent contemplation. A very strong light coming from the child, a supernatural light, which illuminates the faces of the characters.

A look abroad
The Solar Christmas lights in Paris

This year the French have decided to have a Christmas with many lights but at the same time to save money, to consider ecology and Photovoltaic .
The two 2 km of road, from the Arco di Trionfo to the Place de la Concorde, are lit by multicoloured light rings installed on the 200 trees of the avenue, programmed with 67 different colors and different levels of intensity. Hundreds of medallions of mirror placed between the branches reflect the light creating a bright horizontal prospect all along the avenue. The effect is no longer that of the traditional “snow” but that of light games constantly changing, visible even in daylight.

Another novelty is the use of LED lights that allow multi-color effects apart from a great energy saving.
It is possible to find another famous light symbol of Christmas, the tree at Rockefeller Center in New York
More than 30,000 bulbs decorate it . But this year for the first time the energy used for its lights comes entirely from solar energy. In fact, solar panels have been placed on the skyscraper roof of Rockefeller Center



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