WATCH: Lux Festival brings fire and light to the darkest days of winter

This year's route includes nine main installations which start at Senate Square and continue through Hakkaniemi Park.

Fire tornado installation at Lux Festival Helsinki, 4th January 2020 / Credit: News Now Finland

Helsinki’s annual arts festival Lux is back again for 2020, lighting up the capital city during the darkest days of winter.

This year sees Lux visitors taking a new route around the city, starting at Senate Square and going through Kaisaniemi Park to Tokoinranta shore.

There’s nine main installations including colourful images projected onto the facade of the Lutheran Cathedral, and the popular avenue of lanterns strung between trees or nestled on the ground in Hakkaniemi Park.

Some of the first installations however are tucked away inside courtyards with limited accessibility, and on opening night there were queues of 20 minutes or more, as spectators waited to get inside to catch a glimpse.

One of the most remarkable installations this is called ‘Large Fire Tornado’. It’s the fifth installation in the Lux walking tour and is impossible to miss in Kaisaniemi Field.

The tornado was designed by Dutch artist and engineer Ivo Schoofs, and whips a 16m tall flame into a rapidly rotating tornado using fans accompanied by a hypnotic soundtrack that draws the audience closer as the tornado rises and falls.

He was inspired to create the piece after witnessing a fire tornado in a news report about forest fires.

“I draw inspiration for my art from nature and am very interested in the power and beauty of natural phenomena. Nature is our ultimate teacher in many ways, both good and bad” says Schoofs.

This is the artist’s second visit to Lux, and ‘Large Fire Tornado’ has previously been thrilled spectators in the Netherlands, Moscow, Jerusalem, Italy, England and Belgium.

Lux continues through 8th January.