A thousand woven chevrons hang over the heads of visitors to the SouthBank Centre at the moment, adding droplets of colour the ceilings above.

Each element of the 1000 piece installation contains 35 tassels, handmade by a technique that’s traditional to the indigenous people of what is now Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Twelve Sami women from across Scandinavia worked with the artist Outi Pieski to create the 35,000 tassels needed for the art installation, called Falling Shawls.

According to the blurb, in Sami tradition, the Northern Lights are seen as spirits of ancestors. Falling Shawls – hung high within the foyers of Royal Festival Hall – represents a ‘flock’ of spirits, the representation of humanity and people amongst nature.

Or you can look at it as a translucent series of blocks of colour hanging from the concrete structure of London’s Southbank Centre.

They’re surprisingly easy to miss, even for the Southbank employee who looked up to see what I was photographing, and seemed surprised at what she saw. A reminder to all of us to look up occasionally.

The display is part of a year-long Nordic festival at the Southbank, so should be there for the rest of the year.


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