For three weeks in December 2012 photographer and sculptor Anna Öhlund and lightning designer John Pettersson built a 40 square meter exhibition hall of snow and ice. They wanted to portray their personal sense of Jukkasjärvi and ICEHOTEL using photos and lightning.
Anna and John both worked with the creation of ICEHOTEL ten seasons in total, and Anna got the idea for the exhibition a couple of years ago when she was working in the construction team. She felt that she could capture the feeling and the essence of the construction that takes place 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.
“It’s all about hard work, creativity, a damp coffee room and a frosty forest tour on skis. The sense comes from the light, the nature and the people and that’s what makes this place so different and so special. ICEHOTEL for me is more than a building. To get the opportunity to experience the winter, the cold, the light and the surroundings in Jukkasjärvi with creative people from all over the world is very inspiring” Anna says.
In this exhibition it’s not only the photos, the snow, and the ice that tells the story – the Arctic light also plays an important part in portraying life in mid-winter Jukkasjärvi. Lighting designer John Pettersson has tried to capture this with the installation that is part of the exhibition.
“It’s fantastic to work with lightning design in a place where light plays such a big role. I work as a lightning designer and I appreciate the darkness as much as the light. The contrasts give a sharp and lasting impression on everyone who visits ICEHOTEL. People have always been mesmerized by the Northern Lights and are still today. When sunlight comes back in January it gives life, but it is also what makes this whole exhibition melt down in to the Torne River in just a few months. That’s the source of inspiration for all my work with lighting design in ICEHOTEL” Pettersson says.
ICEHOTEL is the world’s first and largest hotel made of ice and snow, and is open as an art exhibition for day visitors and guests 10 am to 6 pm daily between December and mid-April. The exhibition is open to visitors as part of ICEHOTEL and Anna Öhlund’s book is available to purchase in ICEHOTEL Shop.