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The Winter Lights Festival 2023 will be held from February 2nd to 4th. The festival takes place in all six municipalities of the capital area.
The goal of the festival is to bring the city to life during the darkest winter months by connecting different cultural elements related to the theme of light and darkness. A variety of events will be offered, featuring a large number of artists who will create a unique atmosphere. This festival of light and darkness has three pillars: the Light Trail, Museum Night, and Pool Night. All events are free to attend.
The Festival will begin on February 2nd at 7 pm in the square in front of Hallgrímskirkja. Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson will open the festival. The light art displayed at Hallgrímskirkja is called Fuser and is created by artist Sigurður Guðjónsson.
Sigurður Guðjónsson is known for his powerful time-related works that study man-made machines and technical monuments in relation to their inherent aspects. The artist creates complex, multi-layered works by combining image and sound in an impressive way. This creates a striking experience for the viewer. Sigurður Guðjónsson represented Iceland at the 2022 Venice Biennale. He was awarded the Icelandic Art Prize in 2018 and his work has been exhibited in numerous private and group exhibitions both in Iceland and abroad.
Reykjavík City Hall will host an art exhibition called Cable Soup. Electricity is everywhere: it flows inside us, through the devices that are our extensions, under our feet, over our heads, through animals and plants as well as through cables, cords, nerves, and wires. Featured artists: Andri Björgvinsson, Atli Bollason, Hákon Bragason, Patricia Carolina, Sean Patrick O’Brien, Una Sigtryggsdóttir, Þorsteinn Eyfjörð.
This year's Festival will feature a record number of installations of light art, with a total of 23 artworks illuminating the short days and forming a fun walking path. Many well-known artists take part this year, including Þórdís Erla Zoëga, Hrafnkell Sigurðsson, Fríða Ísberg, Sin Fang & Máni M. Sigfússon.
Light art and related events will be ongoing every evening during the festival from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm.
On Museum Night, February 3rd, guests are invited to visit over 40 museums in the capital area and view a variety of fun exhibitions. The focus will be on providing unconventional events during the evening and giving visitors a new perspective on the museums.
The National Museum, for example, will take visitors back to the 19th century, with evening entertainment as it was in the communal bedrooms of old Icelandic farmhouses. Poets of all ages will be performing different types of poetry, including rhymes and verses. Additionally, there will be a storyteller who will be sharing fairy tales. Visitors will also have the opportunity to take prosody lessons and hear the beautiful sounds of Icelandic string instruments (langspil) and singing.
The Viking Society of Rimmugýgur will visit Saga Museum on Museum Night, showcasing their weapons and clothing, chat with visitors and passersby, and entertain as only they can.
The Design Museum in Garðabær will offer a home-design workshop for families, where guests will create furniture in an imaginary home as if they were designers and inventors
The Hafnarfjörður Heritage Museum will offer a fun and informative game of orienteering for families.
The Culture House on Hverfisgata will feature the exhibition "Viðnám", or resistance, which explores the interaction between art and science. Many places will offer fun interactivity and art workshops.
The Icelandic Museum of Natural History is hosting the exhibition "Water in Icelandic Nature" on the second floor of Perlan, where guests can learn about water from many perspectives. Employees of the Natural History Museum and members of the Iceland Glaciological Society welcome guests and will be talking about the wonders of water and glaciers.
Museum Night runs from 6 pm to 11 pm
Pool Night will be held on February 4th after a three-year hiatus. All the municipalities in the capital area will participate and a total of thirteen swimming pools will be open with free admission.
Events will take place in a variety of ways and guests will get to experience a unique and unusual evening. Light, darkness, and joy will prevail, and guests are encouraged to relax and enjoy the moment.
The following swimming pools will participate in Pool Night:
Laugardalslaug, Vesturbæjarlaug, Sundhöll Reykjavíkur, Breiðholtslaug, Grafarvogslaug, Dalslaug, Árbæjarlaug, Sundlaug Kópavogs, Salalaug, Lágafellslaug, Seltjarnarneslaug, Ásgarðslaug, and Ásvallalaug.
The swimming pools will be open from 5 pm to 10 pm
All further information about the Winter Lights Festival program can be found at https://reykjavik.is/en/winter-lights-festival