Olafur Eliasson gives a Green Light to refugees

Find out how the artist's Viennese project helps new arrivals settle in, and create some beautiful lamps too
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Participants at Olafur Eliasson's Green Light project in Vienna
Participants at Olafur Eliasson's Green Light project in Vienna

Green Light is a $336  (£237, €300medium-sized geometric lamp made from wood, recycled plastic, nylon and LEDs. Aesthetically, it would make a fine addition to any modern home.

 

Green Light by Olafur Eliasson
Green Light by Olafur Eliasson

However, the real beauty of Green Light lies in the making. The lamp has been designed by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, and is being assembled by young refugees, as well as members of the public and local students.

 

Participants at Olafur Eliasson's Green Light project in Vienna
Participants at Olafur Eliasson's Green Light project in Vienna

This is no simple furnishings workshop. The three-month long programme, staged at the TBA21 contemporary art foundation in Vienna, sees the workers enrolled in a programme of talks and workshops, on everything from art to citizenship, solidarity to empowerment, all in the hope, that, the project will ease these recent arrivals’ settlement.

 

A participant at Olafur Eliasson's Green Light project in Vienna
A participant at Olafur Eliasson's Green Light project in Vienna
 

“It is my hope that Green light will shine light on some of the challenges and responsibilities arising from the current refugee crisis in Europe and throughout the world,” Eliasson said. Green light is an act of welcoming, addressed both to those who have fled hardship and instability in their home countries and to the residents of Vienna.”

 

Stacked Green Lights by Olafur Eliasson
Stacked Green Lights by Olafur Eliasson

You can order your own lamp here, and for more on Eliasson’s communal, collaborative side, order a copy of Studio Olafur Eliasson: The Kitchen, a collection of over 100 vegetarian recipes drawn from the artist’s own studio kitchen. The book includes guest submissions by such star chefs as René Redzepi and Alice Waters; find out more here.


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