One of the cultural highlights of the Leeds Arts scene, Leeds Light Night is an annual celebration showcasing pieces from some of the worlds’ most prolific light artists as well as the local creative scene. This year was one of the biggest yet, and as always there was something for everyone.
Projection for the people
After a great lecture from three prolific light artists on the Thursday, I felt raring to go for the Friday. I thought I’d start in Millennium Square with one of the big events of the festival: Out of the Aire, a 3D mapped projection celebrating the people of Leeds from past to present. The projections on the Civic Hall are always a highlight of Light Night, and this year did not disappoint.
Lasers, smoke and mind-control
After a short pit stop for churros (you can’t go to a night-time festival without them), I ventured down to the Town Hall. There were a few different things going on but my favourite by far was ‘On Your Wavelength’ in the main hall. It was a totally immersive experience, where volunteers could control the sound and lightscape with an EEG headset, tracking brainwaves to produce a riot of colour, lasers and booming sound from Leeds Town Hall’s famous organ. It was completely mesmerising so I stayed there a while, taking in the ambience (and many videos for Instagram).
Art Deco Animagic
After a walk down Briggate through the giant Anglepoise-style lamps of ‘Lampounette’ by Tilt, I inevitably ended up at another projection mapping piece, this time on the iconic Art Deco frontage of the Queens Hotel. It was another animated celebration of Leeds, done in a style that perfectly reflected the current trend of bold geometric illustration, with hints to the buildings Deco heritage.
To finish my evening I walked down to Leeds Dock for one of the hotly tipped pieces of the night, ‘Museum of the Moon’ by Luke Jerram. Floating above the water (by crane, sadly not by magic), the 7-meter diameter moon was both beautiful and fascinating. The sculpture was as true to the moon as possible, using NASA images to accurately represent the surface. A great mix of beauty and science to finish off the evening.
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