‘Lysstof’: Portraying the beauty of Nordic nature through textiles

Inspired by Nordic nature, BORA BORA presented an art exhibition, that intends to translate into textile and movement, the experiences lived around the fishing village of Skagaströnd in Northern Iceland. 

by Nicole Goszczynski and Katja Scheibler, photos by Giang Pham

From February 12th to February 16th, 2017, BORA BORA hosted a travelling exhibition ‘Lysstof – The Magical Nature’ by Anna Rosa Hjort-Lorenzen and Kasper Daugaard Poulsen. The former being a trained textile designer and the latter a dancer, they combined their talents in order to create six installations interpreting the Nordic nature: the northern lights, mountains and creaking glaciers, lava, myriads of slow-growing moss and the changeable ocean.

Pulsating the northern lights 
Entering the first room of the exhibition, one is welcomed by calm, hypnotising music that creates the soundtrack of the journey. In the middle of the room, there is a long piece of cloth, symbolising a natural landscape of mountains.

As the lights turn on and off, imitating day and night, the squares on the garment change from warm colours such as red, yellow and orange, to cold such as blue and green. At the same time, wind is slowly moving the garment, suddenly the textiles come to life. The installation catapults the observer to another space, where the enchanting aurora determines the view.

Textile Exhibition - 2017 Feb 15-15

Inspired by the area around the North Icelandic fishing village Skagaströnd, the artists adapt some unique phenomena and fascinating shifts in light: “The sun rises with pale, light colours and goes down in dark red and violets. Stars cover the sky and it feels like one is standing on top of the globe under a curved firmament. On clear nights, there are northern lights, which gather and spread like formations moving across the night sky”, say the two artists.

Textile Exhibition - 2017 Feb 15-13

The magical journey through Nordic nature continues in the second room with a breathtaking atmosphere. The artists created a composition of three thrilling pieces representing the incredible nature of Iceland. One part of the installation is arranged in three delicate layers displaced one behind the other and illustrates burning lava in a huge and threatening volcano.

Textile Exhibition - 2017 Feb 15-14

The spectator views a fireball in alarming orange. Directly behind the volcano another fabric is displayed, the mysterious aurora pulsating in shades of blue. The gentle movement of the material portrays the natural dynamic of the Northern Lights, and gives the viewer a true feeling of it.

A giant textile carpet is the third element of the composition. The carpet is staged with a dramatic green light installation and constant movement, which represents the slow growing of moss. The artwork is placed in pure gloom, therefore creating a mystic scenery.

Textile Exhibition - 2017 Feb 15-2

Drops inspiring transformation
Finally, visitors could discover curious ‘drops’ in a hidden corner. These ‘drops’, made of lightbulbs and white cloth, change colour every minute, from white to blues, greens and reds. This can raise the question: How can we add elements to change and transform textiles?

Textile Exhibition - 2017 Feb 15-12

‘Lysstof – The Magical Nature’ was a truly fascinating walk through light and darkness, which captivated the audience in a spiritualistic way.


‘Lysstof – The Magical Nature’ was a short exhibition at Aarhus’ BORA BORA theatre from February 12th – 16th. To find out about other events at BORA BORA, visit the website.

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