Nico Vascellari at the Whitworth, preview: Arcane powers & satanic legend

Suzy Prince

As winter draws to a close and we start to glimpse some greenery again, Italian artist Nico Vascellari takes over the Whitworth’s landscape gallery.

From the 25 February, visitors to the Whitworth art gallery are invited to explore the haunting installation by Italian artist Nico Vascellari, Bus de la Lum, which draws on the arcane powers of the forest and suggests the deep secrets within it. In reality, Bus de la Lum (which means ‘hole of light’) is a natural cavity located in the woodland of the Cansiglio plateau in Northern Italy. Shrouded in mystery, the void emits an eerie light that has long been associated with magic and satanic legend. During World War II the cavity acted as a death pit for hundreds of prisoners and casualties of war: this grim fact adding to the storytelling and myth making that surrounds it.

Two magical places interwoven by light, shadow and an extraordinary soundtrack

Vascellari’s installations also connects us to another place, Darvaza (otherwise known as the ‘Door to Hell’) a vast, burning crater in the desert of Turkmenistan. The stories of these are the focus of this new exhibition, the two magical places interwoven by light, shadow and an extraordinary soundtrack created in collaboration with Turkish-born musician Ghédalia Tazartès. As a musician as well as an artist, Vascellari’s work delves deeply into sound as well as visual exploration.

Culture Guides

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Queer Contact Festival, stunning physical theatre and intimate in-the-round performance top our eclectic list of drama, comedy and dance this month.

Classical Music

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Start 2023 as you mean to go on, with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Cinema

Black and white classics and a Tarantino-scripted pop-thriller are amongst our Valentine’s themed picks for February.

Exhibitions

The world of art and exhibitions never quite stops, so we have lots of new shows to look forward to at the start of 2023.

Cardboard Carnival at The Edge

Families

New year, new start, and what better way to welcome in 2023 than by planning and experiencing all sorts of exciting family events in Manchester and the North?

Gwendoline Riley. Photo by Adrian Lourie

Literature

Live literature land welcomes in 2023 with lots lined up in Manchester and beyond, from book launches and bookshop openings to prize-winning poets and award-laden authors sharing their secrets and stories.

Music

More brilliant gigs appear on the horizon as we inch further into 2023.

Tours and Activities

New years are for new experiences, and we have a whole lot of ideas to inspire you as 2023 gets underway.