Lightwaves 2015: Let there be light

Emma Nuttall

Lightwaves, Quays Culture’s free festival of digital light at The Quays, is bigger and better than ever this year.

There is something undeniably alluring about light. From glowing objects to projections, florescence and lasers, light art doesn’t require a degree in art history to appreciate. From 12-27 December, Lightwaves 2015, organised by Quays Culture, will illuminate Salford’s Media City with a free digital light festival to mark UNESCO’s ‘International Year of Light’. The public spaces surrounding Salford Quay’s canals will play host to three major installations from international artists, which promise to take over the piazza with an immersive, interactive extravaganza.

This year’s festival follows on from the huge success of Squidsoup’s installation Aeolian Light in December last year. This time around, audiences can walk through Mads Christensen’s new piece The Cathedral of Mirrors, specially commissioned by Quays Culture and co-presented with the University of Salford. This giant sculpture is made up of 12 columns, which sit in silence, emitting an undulating glow and pulsing in response to the movements of passers-by, and so emitting more light energy the busier it gets.

A free digital light festival to mark UNESCO’s ‘International Year of Light’

Also on show will be Intrude, by Amanda Parer, an installation of five giant glowing bunnies designed to remind us about the delicate balance of nature on planet earth. The luminous rabbits will be a quirky presence at MediaCityUK during Lightwaves, dwarfing people on their way by.

Finally, Marcos Zotes presents Amaze, a towering psychedelic labyrinth for audiences to enter and get lost in. Abstract patterns and rich colours will be beamed onto the fabric walls, a kaleidoscopic surround for the maze’s twisting paths. Their swirling movement will transform the industrial installation into a visual feast through the winter nights.

The programme also includes an online performance entitled Ser Gina by artist and performer Elly Clarke, which explores our online, networked world and its effects on our sense of identity and our relationships. Familiarise yourself with the other talks, performances and workshops lined up on the official Lightwaves 2015 page on Quays Culture’s website.

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