Whispers in the Dark: Sharing our Light
Collaborative mixed media installation, overall size approx. 8'x3'x20'
Designed for the Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, 1991
Paintings and design © Alice Dubiel

Whispers in the Dark: Sharing our Light is a collaborative mixed media installation which celebrates the Winter Solstice according to the diverse cultural traditions that constitute Seattle's multi-ethnic communities. These traditions include the Scandinavian Longest Night, the Philippine Lantern Festival (including dancing and a variety of lanterns), and the Nordic countries ' urban cemetery candle visitation on Christmas Eve. The Winter Solstice is the time when the winter dark begins to accede to the distant light of spring. As the nights begin to gradually shorten and the natural world appears to still be deep in sleep, black bears give birth, nurse their young, and all the world begins to stir in preparation for the "birth" of spring.

Swedish celebrants prepare for the Lucia festival, which is generally held on a weekend during mid-December in Seattle. A procession is led by a girl wearing white with a red sash and candles in her hair. She is followed by attendants with candles in hand and by "star boys" who wear pointed hats with candles in the top. The leader carries a tray of coffee, pastries and gingerbread, offering good will and hospitality. Lucia is the name of a martyred Italian Christian saint; her image in the Swedish tradition reflects ancient processions which celebrate the light of welcome in the midst of winter's dark.

"Whispers in the Dark: Sharing our Light" was designed by Alice Dubiel for the Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, 1991. Participants in this collaborative installation include: Patty Detzer, artist; Roseanne Torgerson, artist (affiliated with Filipiniana); Mike Fried, artist; Roger DelRosario, Filipiniana; Marianne Forssblad, Nordic Heritage Museum.