Winter light

“I would be a star twinkling against the dark sky. Twinkling on a really frosty night, amidst a twinkling carpet of stars.” Elevate artist Stephanie Jalland is joined this month by Bridget Jupp, who normally attends creative sessions on a Monday at Peter Gillam Day Centre at Salisbury Hospice.


A softer lemony light

Usually at this time of year we are busy conjuring up a short performance for the annual festive party. So instead, we have been thinking of, imagining and celebrating winter light and invite you to take the time to pause for a while and join us. Settle somewhere cosy and if you can put some background wintry music on to get you in the mood. Winter from Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ perhaps, listen to the
biting strings and the breathless beauty as he captures the energy and drama of the winter frost and snowfall.

Winter gives us shorter daylight hours and a softer lemony light that fades early but often in a flaming sunset. Winter can seem to be the place where time stands still. The darkness and the chill can affect our
mood but we all look to light to cheer us. Moonlight, starlight, firelight, candlelight, lantern processions, colourful Christmas lights. Lights in the darkness as we slip towards midwinter and the sun at it’s lowest on the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Lights in the darkness reminding us that the light will slowly return with the renewal of the seasons, and the warmth and light of spring.

Christina Rosetti wrote, “In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone”. Is it all bleak? What comes to mind when you think of winter and winter light? For Bridget it’s “the weird sort of light created by heavy snowfall, an almost sinister light. Everything is light because of the whiteness of the snow, and sound is muted. A falling silence that comes with the falling of snow.”

“Midnight mass and all the light falling out of the windows and doorways showing the snowfall”

“The light from the inside shining out, to throw a path to help you through the snow. The light from a streetlamp, snow falling just in a steady drop. The light seems to be shining through the snow, it’s
lovely if you’re looking out from the inside. It’s quite a different perspective, very different from looking at light from the outside in.”

If you were winter light, what would you be? A candle flickering, late winter sun behind the silhouette of trees, sparkly Christmas lights?

Bridget said, even though the sun was pouring golden into her room as we talked, “I would be a star twinkling against the dark sky. Twinkling on a really frosty night, amidst a twinkling carpet of stars. Shining and shining away. It’s a lovely thought if not very practical. Centuries ago people were afraid of comets in the sky, but there is nothing more beautiful than starlight on a clear night and if there is snow even
more so. In the snow you see the tracks of the birds…there are a lot of things to be said for this time of year.”



More from Stephanie and the Elevate artists

During the spring and summer 2020 Stephanie Jalland recorded her monthly reflections, sharing the sights and sounds around her home in Downton. You can listen to all of Stephanie’s monthly recordings here.

Download ‘Elevate your mood’ Issue 4 (pdf)

Send us your contribution

We love to include some of your own reflections in future posts and in our monthly print edition ‘Elevate your mood’ or quarterly printed tabloid ‘Take the time’. Why not write a few lines, try a poem or send us picture on the general theme of winter into spring? Email to ArtCare or send to ArtCare, Block 29, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury SP2 8BJ.