Sonja Martinsson Uppman
of the association
Here we are again, gathered for the second Lumières Nordiques! After two years of insecurity and frustration, with cultural events cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, photography is back in Normandy, a region already committed to promoting Nordic creativity.
The first event in 2018 took place in the most prestigious museums and art institutions in Normandy, while in Paris, the memory of such a lavish event has strengthened the urge to return to the region.
This time, a new selection of photographers from the five northern countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and also Estonia is keen to reach out to the French public and show them their largely recent work.
Neither the institutions concerned nor their visitors have had an easy time of it, with restrictions and altered working conditions having severely tested their patience. As a result, there is now a greater demand to socialise, visit exhibitions, attend the theatre and concerts. Our Nordic programme hopes to open the way for this.
For their part - the photographers in particular - artists have also been hampered in their professional endeavours. They have found it impossible to present or exhibit their work under normal conditions. However, some took the opportunity to perfect their art, concentrating more on creating without interruption or disturbance from outside. One may therefore wonder whether this will be reflected in their work.
The health crisis has even come as a test for the traditionally sturdy Nordic collaboration... Let us hope that this hiatus is behind us and we can fully enjoy this excellent example of artistic exchange that Lumières Nordiques personifies.
Nature has been a vessel of contemplation and inspiration during this period of limited human interaction; Nordic artists have always drawn on its resources. This can be seen through all periods of painting and sculpture and today's photography. Let us hope that a broader knowledge and a newly-honed awareness of Nature will awaken our senses and give us reasons to build on more solid values; that art will help us preserve the beauty of the world.
Long live the Lumières Nordiques!