For a few months each year, when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, people living above the Arctic Circle experience a natural phenomenon known as the midnight sun. On these nights, the sun is visible at local midnight. Festivals keep people busy during these nights, with none more fantastic than the “White Nights” of St. Petersburg, the world’s most northern city with a population over one million. From May to July, this Russian city hosts a series of classical ballet, opera, and music events beginning with the “Stars of the White Nights” at the Mariinsky Theatre and culminating in the “Scarlet Sails” celebration, which typically has over one million attendees.
Many cities around the world have their own offshoot of the famous festival, including Paris, France, where they celebrate “Nuit Blanche.” A few years ago, I found myself in the French capital during this nighttime festival. Sun or no sun, it was a night to remember. Dancing in the streets, museums open 24 hours, and screenings of experimental films on every corner were just some of the magical moments I recall.
Without this background, Lyuba Titovet’s work “White Nights” is a gorgeous still life. With it, we realize that not only does the scene take place at night, but on a night extremely special to many cultures around the world.
Lyuba’s favorite quote:
“To live without art is to live without the sun.” – Unknown