Light Night Wigan & Leigh returns to kick off the festive season with a celebration of glowing art installations and community performances that celebrate the borough, its historical network of canals and the beauty of nature.
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Internationally acclaimed artist Liz West creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light into sensory spectacles for all ages. Our Colour Reflection, a major work from her back catalogue, sited inside the historic Wigan Pier 4 building. Made of 765 mirrors of coloured acrylic, the installation will highlight the impressive architecture and reveal the building’s secrets in a new and colourful way.
Mick Stephenson is an internationally recognised Light artist based in Durham, celebrated for creating stunning installations out of unlikely materials that connect with local communities. For Light Night Wigan & Leigh Mick has collaborated with over 750 residents of Wigan to build a spectacular and radiant life-size model of a canal boat. The piece, Greenheart, will act as homage to the abundance of green spaces in the borough, as well as the network of canals - so fundamental to the rich history of Wigan.
Venessa Scott is a prolific public artist and specialist in Creative Education. Recognised widely for her contribution to the arts and cultural sector in the North, she delivers creative projects, workshops, and interventions to a range of audiences and has been commissioned by leading cultural, corporate and community organisations across the north west and Yorkshire. Venessa Scott has created illuminated window displays in collaboration with local residents and business owners. The mural design creates a colourful and proud display in the windows of the Wigan Investment Centre and is inspired by conversations during those workshops and her own experiences and what she loves about Wigan. People, Parties, Pies, Waterways and Wheels!
Inspired by her family tree and Wigan heritage, Kathy spent two weeks living on a narrow boat exploring the biodiversity of the canals and waterways of Wigan and Leigh. She retraced her grandma’s footsteps searching for the wild clover Melilot, which her gran had surveyed around Wigan over 50 years ago. Using the boat as a darkroom, Kathy processed analogue films by harnessing the unique chemistry of Melilot and other plants to create environmentally friendly film developer, culminating in a set of projections, holding the stories embedded within wild flowers and plants of the towpath. Visit Kathy Hinde website.
Don’t give up on future generations.
Work together, keep the faith.
One way or another, hazards ahead can be overcome.
You can’t stop hope.
A set of revised road signs giving humanity a shared direction for the future. Tom Biddulph is a visual artist originally from Manchester and currently living in Amsterdam. Working with multiple mediums, Tom enjoys looking slightly past reality and imagining what’s there, often resulting in concepts that relate to a particular place or environment.
Created by Tom Biddulph, co-commissioned by Wigan Council, Lightpool and Light Up Lancaster.
From the team who brought you the brass band ravers Mr Wilson’s Second Liners is the new visual theatre and song project, Opal’s Comet. Opal’s Comet is a beautiful golden barge, mounted on a narrowboat. A team of performers will animate the canal from the boat, with songs celebrating life and dealing with human emotions. Expect intimate connection and pop-up elements.
Conceived and written by Mr Wilson’s Artistic Director, Sonya ‘Boo’ Moorhead, Opal’s Comet is a journeying song cycle, touring across the North of the UK and culminating in an finale appearance at Light Night Wigan & Leigh. As the crew navigate real-world challenges of boat life, their vessel functions as both exhibition space and stage. Each voyage is soundtracked by a live band, performing a newly composed song-cycle. The journey of Opal’s Comet can also access and followed remotely via live social media broadcasts, podcasts and other digital documentation of the artwork, music and journey.
Live performances between 4-8pm, Static installation, 8-10pm. With thanks to Hope Street Harmonies. Visit Opal's Comet website for more details.
Stroud-based artist Jack Wimperis repurposes items that would otherwise go to landfill and transforms them into beautiful, programmable LED light installations. His light and sound sculpture invokes emotions and invites the visitor to take some time out of their busy lives, forget about the world and take some time out for themselves, by taking them to a different place through this meditative and thought invoking illumination.
Jack will also bring Builders’ Stix, Way Forward and Peace to the art trail - works made from old tin cans.
Colour Burst aka Chris Plant has spent the last 30 years working with light, projection, sound and code/electronics. He likes to reuse, repurpose, and modify obsolete technology wherever possible, to create immersive work, on large or more intimate scales. He is interested in altering our perceptions, making the easily overlooked and ignored world around us intriguing, wondrous and magical. Colour Burst tries to evoke the experience of gazing at the complex motion of waves via simple harmonic motion via his audio visual LED installation.
The double holographic video installation is set in a Thai style 'spirit house' responds to questions around Extinction. It was created by engaging with artists and Global Majority groups in the Liverpool City region, through a series of model making, poetry, dance and singing sessions. In Thai villages, spirit houses of a similar style would be constructed to worship and show respect to the spirits of the land, in the hope of bringing blessings upon its residents, and avoiding misfortune. The inspiring Thai belief in providing shelter for spirits who inhabited the land before us, offers new ways to think about today's environmental issues and use of land and resources. With thanks to University of Leeds and Arts & Humanities Research Council.
Transforming the iconic Wigan Pier building 3, Zarah Hussain’s Magic Carpet will cover the entire facade in illuminated geometric patterns. Originally projected on to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow in 2015 in tribute to Morris’s own Asian and Islamic inspirations - this same animation provided background visuals for the Transcender music festival at the Barbican. The piece compliments Zarah’s exhibition at the Turnpike in Leigh, and acts as a nod to the rich heritage of the textile industry of Wigan Pier and neighbouring Trencherfield Mill.
Internationally acclaimed artist Liz West brings a major work from her back catalogue to Trencherfield Mill. Our Spectral Vision creates a vivid immersive environment that mixes luminous colour and radiant light using a mixture of LED lamps and dichroic glass in the form of seven prisms. The work explores our individual relationship with colour and our understanding of how we see it. West plays with, manipulates and diverts white light through large-scale coloured prisms in order to drench the space with pure saturated light. Originally commissioned by the Natural History Museum, London for special exhibition Colour and Vision: Through the Eyes of Nature 2016.
A large scale light installation that moves along the surface of the towpath walls...transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary.
Ian Douglas is a Storyteller and Theatre Maker with over 20 years of experience delivering storytelling, performance and theatre activities for schools, arts organisations, communities and festivals across Britain. The origins of Ian's work are steeped in the traditions of street theatre which has helped him develop his unique storytelling style. His work has been described as 'truly inspirational' and draws upon a rich vein of British folk tales and world myths. His latest creation The Magic Lantern adds a beautiful visual element to his storytelling, with shadow puppetry and a musical soundtrack, designed to delight audiences of all ages.