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Light art workshops in Myrsky projects

Artworks from the second Myrsky.

Between years 2011-2015 I was involved in three Myrsky projects. The first were light art workshops for mentally disabled and autistic kids and the other two were for youngsters in difficult life situations. Overall there were about 40 workshops.

WHAT IS MYRSKY?

Myrsky is a nationwide art project in Finland, organized by The Finnish Children and Youth Foundation. Here’s a description from the Myrsky project’s website:

In the Myrsky (Storm) programme, young people between the ages of 12 and 29 create art from their own perspectives, guided by professional artists. All art forms are represented, from theatre to comics and from circus to film. Young people find their own identities, their self confidence grows, and they gain profound experiences of community. Myrsky provides project funding to support youth art projects in Finland. The large-scale Myrsky projects led by artists and communities are designed particularly for youth in difficult life situations. Through Myrsky, young people can create art inspired by their own perspectives and ideas and guided by professionals. (Source: Myrsky webpage)

In the first Myrsky one difficult thing was that the autistic kids had problems to understand shadows and light trails. They liked the light sources but making a shadow was a bigger problem. For those kids, the spinning light balls were the best innovation. But overall the first Myrsky project was a success.

The starting point for Myrsky is the idea of art as an empowering influence on the lives of youth. When creating art, the self-esteem and social skills of young people are strengthened, making it easier for them to find their place in the world. In the Myrsky programme, all young people get an equal opportunity for creative self-actualisation through art. (Source: Myrsky webpage)

FOR YOUNGSTERS IN DIFFICULT LIFE SITUATIONS

The second Myrsky was made in co-operation with Vamos in Helsinki Deaconess. The youngsters mostly did light paintings but also some shadow installations. The main problem was that the participants changed during the project because they got a job or study place. It was also difficult to compete against youngsters mobile phone addiction (well… we did some light paintings with mobile phones)

Making shadows with hands and a projector.

The last Myrsky was also done with Vamos but in a different place. This time Janne Parviainen was also teaching with me. This time the place wasn´t dark enough so it was a bit of a challenge to light paint. And once again the participants changed a lot during the project. In the last day, we made a Guerrilla Lighting with a lighting designer Jari Vuorinen from Lighting Design Collective. The Guerrilla Lighting was held in a skateboard hall where the youngster did an indoor lighting. Here’s a video from the skateboard hall.

In every Myrsky project, Hannu Huhtamo visited once and taught real-time light painting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QqT6Twi8cw

There’s a Facebook page for these two last Myrsky projects. The nickname for the project was Light In My Backyard.

About The Author

Jukka Laine

Jukka Laine is a light painting artist in Helsinki, Finland. He is also a founder of the Valopaja Light Art Collective. Jukka is organizing light art workshops for kids and special groups like mentally disabled and blind people. He has been co-operating with international art therapists and some of his working methods were published in Digital Art Therapy book.

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