Artist Martin Andersen's giant exhibit illuminates Rjukan, but our exact need for sunlight remains enigmatic.


This article titled “Is stealing sun in the Norwegian town of Rjuken playing with fire?” was written by Jonathan Jones, for on Friday 25th October 2013 10.13 UTC

A group of almost nervous-looking Norwegians gather to greet the sun. It is rising in silver splendour over the mountains that enfold their little town, casting a pool of bright light around them. In this new morning they cast shadows on the town square. Real shadows at last!

But that is not the sun. It is a system of gigantic mirrors set up on the mountain to give Rjukan a sunlight boost. This town buried in a deep valley never gets any direct natural light in winter, when the northern sun is too low in the sky to get past its walls of rock. Until now. The mirrors are the brainchild of Martin Andersen, an artist who moved to Rjukan 10 years ago. His “heliostats” reflect this pool of sunlight on to the town square 365 days a year, keeping the sun in town even in the darkest winter.

This content is available for Basic Members.
Already a member, log in