Light Up Poole - a festival of light

Thursday, January 11 2018

Showing the town in a completely new light, the first Light Up Poole festival of light art will completely transform the High Street from Falklands Square to the Quay.

From 15 to 17 February 2018 the town centre after dark will provide the dramatic backdrop to a series of light art and digital installations designed to inspire, delight and enchant locals and visitors alike. International and local artists, many of them working in collaboration with Poole schools and arts organisations, have been given a platform to showcase their often ground breaking work in a celebration of Poole’s cultural diversity, rich heritage and unique location.

“We’ve chosen theme of Identity and challenged digital artists, architects and lighting designers to reinvent themselves and consider the town as their main inspiration,” says Libby Battaglia of festival directors Audacious.

“Light Up Poole will show how something as simple as light can completely transform a place you think you know. It’s warm, it’s safe, people are drawn by it to come together and share the experience.

“It is a great opportunity for the people of Poole to really celebrate its growing reputation as a destination for artistic excellence, cultural learning and innovative collaborations between business and the arts.”

Light Up Poole will see the town centre divided into 11 zones from Lighthouse, through Falkland Square, down the High Street to the Old Town, Poole Museum and Quay Amusements each showcasing a new artwork and interactive installations.

Among the many highlights are:

  • Submergence – An immersive, responsive, walk-through experience created by Squidsoup, the international group of artists, researchers, technologists and designers. It uses more than 5,000 individual points of controlled light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space. The installation transforms space into a hybrid environment where virtual and physical worlds coincide. A semi-linear 12-minute piece that forms an abstract with a gradual increase in tension, building to a final climax, each movement has its own elements, atmosphere and responsiveness that are open to interpretation.
  • The Squirrel – a digital art installation by Sober Industries to highlight the extinction plight of Brownsea Island’s famous resident colony of red squirrels. The Squirrel was commissioned by Quays Culture as part of the Unnatural Borders art event exploring the interaction between mankind and the animal world.
  • Arbour – a new work by multi-media artist Mark Parry who works with cross-art combinations of light, film, digital video and photography to convey meaning through evocative and emotive imagery and sound.
  • Amuzo – the award-winning, Bournemouth-based team of game and App developers whose creations have been played more than two billion times and topped the App Store in more than 150 countries launch their new smartphone game, Flo, at Light Up Poole.
  • Café Conversations – informal chats in cafes and other town centre venues to share new ways of thinking differently about creativity, the arts and expression.

A key element of the first Light Up Poole festival is the emphasis on creating new learning opportunities.

  • Sounds of Poole – an inspirational learning project focussing on music technology and devised by SoundStorm, Bournemouth and Poole’s music education hub. Sound artist Jon Adams is working with pupils from Poole schools to record sounds of the town and incorporate them in an illuminated soundscape album that will be played at the Fish Shambles on the Quay during the festival.
  • ArtfulScribe poetry agency is running a film poetry weekend workshop at Poole Museum on 13 and 14 January with photographic artist Helen Dewbery and poet and filmmaker Chaucer Cameron.
  • Working in partnership with Lighthouse and Bournemouth University, Light Up Poole also has a weekend of workshops on 27 and 28 January aimed at young people aged 16-21 who want to sharpen their vlog-making skills.

The festival will also provide Poole with its first look at some new art forms:

  • Poets and filmmakers are being invited to enter the Film Poetry competition with £500 for the winning title and the shortlisted films projected on the wall of Poole Museum.
  • Projection Mapping, Projection Bombing – Bournemouth University alumni Ashley Wilkie uses spatial augmented reality technology to turn buildings, objects even whole landscapes into display surfaces for his digital art and light graffiti laser tags. This will be Poole as it has never been seen before.

Light Up Poole is the first in a number of headline events planned for 2018 to celebrate the 40th birthday of Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts.

Phil Gibby, South-West director for Arts Council England, says: “We’re delighted to support Audacious through our National Lottery-funded Grants for the Arts programme. This award supports Audacious to develop local, national and international talent by showcasing artists through Light Up Poole events.

“Emerging digital technologies will be used to create interactive public spectacles in the town centre aiming to challenge perceptions and allow more people to experience and be inspired by great art and culture.”

Light Up Poole is presented by Audacious community interest company with the support of lead partner and sponsor Poole BID and Arts Council England and in partnership with Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, and Bournemouth University, as well as Poole Borough Council, SoundStorm music education agency and ArtfulScribe, which finds, develops and promotes new and emerging writers and audiences for live literature.

  

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