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River of Light is back and here’s what will be lighting the waterfront for Autumn 2021

3 years ago

River of Light is back for Autumn 2021 and the 12 artworks which will transform Liverpool’s waterfront have been unveiled.

For 17 nights, from Friday 22 October until Sunday 7 November, the waterfront will be transformed into a FREE illuminated outdoor art gallery.

Twelve large scale light artworks will create a 2km trail in the fourth edition of River of Light.

The theme this year is ‘Rhythm of the Light’ with each of the artworks being inspired by the relationship between the city, music and light.

Some of the highlights include:

Light Piano 2.0 – Mann Island

Light Piano 2.0

Sound and light come together for this installation which will be based inside Mann Island. Global Streets and Open Culture will encourage pianists to visit and take part.

Dance Together – Canning Dock Quayside, Museum of Liverpool

A brand new commission bringing together artistic studio Lucid Creates and Suzannah Pettigrew with Chibuku to celebrate recently passing the milestone of 20 years of events in the city.

This sound and light experience will bring together archive music from some of the most celebrated nights in the club’s history alongside site specific poetry created by multidisciplinary artist Suzannah Pettigrew.

This celebration of club culture will be accompanied by a collection of digital images from across the 20+ years of Chibuku in the atrium of the Museum of Liverpool.

Dance Together

Liverpool, Love of my life – Liverpool, Town Hall

Chila Kumari Burman is one of the UK’s most celebrated artists and she returns to her hometown for this unique new commission.

Inspired by Diwali – which is on the 4 November – and her love of Liverpool, this collection of neon artworks will take over the front of Liverpool Town Hall and be accompanied by an Indian and Bollywood inspired soundtrack.

Picture at top of article – The Pool by Brendan Birkett

Spriteworks – Canal Basin, Pier Head

The first outdoor commission from Warrington-based artist Pastel Castles, this artwork is inspired by classic 90s computer games. Working in partnership with local collective The Kazimier, Spriteworks brings together a 3D visualisation of classic 2D gaming with a bespoke soundtrack created by the artist on her original Gameboy.

The Pool – Chavasse Park, Liverpool ONE

Jen Lewin has shown her interactive light sculpture around the world and is bringing one of her most celebrated works The Pool to Liverpool.

The Pool is a giant field of light comprised of over 100 interactive LED platforms that respond to touch, creating incredible colourful light effects when walked on. The piece will be accompanied by an atmospheric soundtrack curated by the artist.

The Pool
Photo by Scott Wiserman

Details on all of the other artworks being presented can be found at www.visitliverpool.com/riveroflight and include:

Sonic Runway by Rob Jensen & Warren Trezevant, Iconic Site by Sans Facon, Trumpet Flowers by Amigo and Amigo, Wave by Squidsoup, Fly by Night by The Kazimier, Light Piano 2.0 XL by Kleurbleur, Singularity by Squidsoup and Limelight: Saturday Nightby Sans facon.

Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:

“River of Light has become one of the cultural highlights each year in Liverpool. Having seen the plans I know it is going to be a great show!

“As well as the amazing artists it is also a showcase of how brilliantly this city works together with partners like Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool ONE, National Museums Liverpool and Liverpool BID all coming together to work with the team at Culture Liverpool to put on such an ambitious event.”

Helen Swan from Lucid Creates said:

“I wrote my dissertation on Liverpool’s club scene in the early 2000s and spent many of my formative years inside The Masque, so when Culture Liverpool approached us to commission a collaboration with Chibuku I jumped at the chance to create an immersive experience that celebrates Liverpool’s club culture in all its glory.

“Dance Together is a celebration of the music and people – the family – that have kept Chibuku at the heart of the Liverpool club scene for over 20 years.”

Artist Chila Kumari Burman said:

“I am thrilled to have been invited to be part of this immersive art show, returning to my hometown of Liverpool is a special honour for me. And I hope my piece will bring joy, inspiration and hope to the people of Liverpool. It is in essence my love letter to this brilliant town, and to its brilliant communities that make it what it is.”

Artist Pastel Castles said

‘Taking on this project has allowed me to think beyond the limitations of my usual methods. If 2D pixel art existed outside of my computer screen, what form would it take? How would it look and sound? Could we engage with it in a more meaningful way?

“I’ve always been fascinated with the medium of light.  Not only is this my first endeavour in light sculpture and design, but the exhibit will be accompanied by my first piece of recorded music as a solo artist. I am so happy to be a part of this beautiful festival.”

Four of the artworks have been specially commissioned for Liverpool – these are Dance Together, Spriteworks, Liverpool Love of my Life and Fly By Night.

River of Light will be delivered by Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team and is supported by Arts Council England, Global Streets and FESTIVAL.ORG.

To get the latest information visit www.visitliverpool.com/riveroflight or follow @visitliverpool (Twitter and Facebook) or @visitliverpool_ (Instagram).


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