lightuv People’s After extensrve refurbishment, the City t , ,f v. t __ Art Centre has now Titus Nolte’s plan ior‘Skytrackar’ reopened Its doors a Deep, dark winter nights have some gallery WIth SIX exmbltmg I useful purposes— Lux Europae floors and a spectacular ! would probably have been less survey of Ukrainian art . spectacular had it happened in M. d F . Naples, say, or Torremolinos. As the “an a rance prewews sweeping, Latin name implies, the the show and welcomes ‘lights of Europe’ project represents the return of this most art on a grand, philanthropic scale. bl. . . d f More than forty artists, from all the pu let'splrlte 0 EC countries, have created the galleries . various light sculptures scattered across the city, an early celebration of Edinburgh’s appointment as host to the December European summit. After nearly two years of The director of Lux Europae, refurbishment the City Art Centre Isabel Vasseur’s stated aim is ‘to had to alight upon something create a highly visible, celebratory colourful with which to launch their arts event which will be enjoyed and new programme. The Spirit of talked about by the people of Ukraine is an excellent choice, not Edinburgh and Europe for along least because the 100 or so paintings time to come.’ In choosing to make come from the State Museum of light the theme, Ms Vasseur must Ukrainian Art in Kiev, Edinburgh’s have been wise to the fact that she twin city. It also serves to remind us had created an art exhibition with a of the CAC’s tradition of large-scale captive audience. As neon shows - this one spans 500 years. symbolically lights up parts of the If that sounds forbidding, a few night sky, Edinburgh will surely fall Ukrainian vital statistics provide a into a philosophical frame of mind handle. An independent state since . . . but whether the lights will do 1991, the area is the size of France anything to inspire our benighted and home to 51 million people. In politicians is another matter. Here is 988 Volodymyr the Great 3 guide to some of the artworks: proclaimed Christianity the state Ian Hamilton Finlay— European religion, and had the entire Heads. The 75ft neon sign is posted population of Kiev baptised on the roof of the Scottish Office, accordingly, sparking a tradition of with the ‘heads‘ symbolically upside iconography which continued, in one down. After Finlay finished the form or another well into the sculpture, Britain pulled out of the nineteenth century. The Ukraine’s Exchange Rate Mechanism, making history has been dominated, it even more pertinent. literally, by bullying neighbours, and Bill Culbert’s Truck tipping out a the earliest icons were destroyed by slice ofsky, parked outside the pillaging Moguls in the National Gallery until 6 Nov. mid-thirteenth century. But the Adrian Wisniewski’s Fairy Lights, precious 15th century Miracle ofSt an alternative to the usual Princes George (see cover) is on show here, Street Christmas decorations, the centrepiece in an exquisite created by one of the Glasgow Boys' collection ofancient and gang. Renaissance art. Juan Luis Moraza (Spain) A ‘grove‘ The icons are without any doubt of different kinds of street light. next the high point of this exhibition. The to the National Museum of Scotland. rich colours and simple gestures of Thorbiorn Lausten (Denmark) huge iconography are always seductive, white geometric shapes projected but what makes these religious onto Salisbury Craggs. images particularly appealing is their Mischa Kuball (Germany) Lux specifically Ukrainian dimension: in Power Table, a table-top light box The Holy Trinity, the figures‘ clothes installed in the Cafe Royal. which feature traditional Ukrainian projects an image ofTorness Power embroidery, and the two Apostles Station. double up as portraits of Ukrainian “ms "one (Netherlands) Peasants- fleeting autonomy to Tsarist Russia search of work, the hopeless lot of l t Skytracker, projects beams into the The region‘s constant state of at the end of the 18th century, and the peasant, some of these images of 5 sky from the Observatory. political flux is reflected in an artistic many artists left the region to study rural stoieism one associates with 5 Nicola von Skepsgradh (Germany) - tradition which steadily seeks to in St Petersburg, Those who stayed soviet literature _ which isn‘t to say f Fields Blue marbles clustered reassert the Ukrainian identity, established a strong realist tradition, that thCV are melodramatic- thCy together on the roofofthe while absorbing the new art The ground floor 19th century genre certainly convey something of the ; subterranean WC in Hunter Square. developments from the west. works are almost photographic society and problems of the time, : and illuminated from below. Divided and redivided between representations of aspects of Upstairs are the fruits of those brief | Lighting up Thurs 22 Oct; switching warring empires during the 14th and Ukrainian life a wedding years when Ukraine had once again Loff5 Jan. 15th centuries, the Ukraine lost its celebration, a family migrating in gained autonomy, in 1917. An

52 The List 23 October- 5 November 1992