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Aurora: Spirit of Northern Lights is a Celebration of Nature



Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a day when the world comes together to celebrate nature -- a theme we love to explore at ARTECHOUSE, and that served as the main inspiration of our seasonal installation Aurora: Spirit of Northern Lights at ARTECHOUSE DC last winter.

Aurora: Spirit of Northern Lights was inspired by the natural world, drawing themes and stories from an outdoor winter landscape. The artists designed the installation's caves, stalactites, frost, and lights based on the ones found in nature that typically would never be seen indoors. By recreating these natural features, ARTECHOUSE offered visitors a chance to "travel" to a remote location, discover their winter powers, and see the aurora borealis — a natural phenomena that few ever get to see in person.


The aurora borealis — also known as the northern lights — is a natural light display seen in very northern areas around the Arctic and Antarctic. Aurora borealis refers specifically to the light seen in this location. Auroras come in many different colors, with green being the most common, and other colors like red, yellow, green, blue and violet seen occasionally. They also can form many different shapes, including small patches of light, arcs, curtains, or rays.


Along with the representation of the northern lights in the main gallery, the media lab featured an immersive take on the beautiful aurora borealis. Using rows of fabric and strategic lighting, ARTECHOUSE created its own vision of the ethereal display and then invited guests to sit back and relax, taking in the views and the musical piece "Formed by Glaciers" by Norwegian composer Kubbi.


In the side galleries, interactive artistic interpretations of ice caverns let guests interact with installations all around them in a fun and visually stunning way. Then they could maneuver through icicles and hanging branches in a frozen forest, further immersing themselves into the narrative of this nature-filled journey.


This installation encouraged people to experience the magic of the nature all around them (while learning a thing or two about technology) — and today, on Earth Day, we encourage you to do the same as we digitally relive this experience!

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