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A canvas of illumination: Bristol Light Festival announces further show-stopping installations for February event

22nd January 2024

Illuminating the city at the height of winter, Bristol Light Festival will once again bring a stunning combination of light, sound and colour to the heart of Bristol – and three never-before-seen-in-the-South-West artworks will take centre stage at the next edition

Attracting 250,000 visitors and encouraging a £3.3 million increase in spend to Bristol in 2023, the fourth iteration of the award-winning festival will take place between Friday 2 – Monday 11 February 2024*.

It will welcome two new-to-Bristol installations by Somerset-based partnership, This is Loop, PULSE and Emergence, as well as a second immersive artwork by multidisciplinary art collective, Atelier Sisu, Elysian.

2024’s Bristol Light Festival will also see the welcome return of the festival’s popular favourite Swing Song, produced by Bristol Light Festival and Tired Industries. The artwork will take on a new lease of life for the next edition, bringing immersive play ever further to the forefront for guests.

Welcoming artists from near and far to showcase their masterful light-based installations in its immersive, family-friendly showcase of talent, Bristol Light Festival continues to surprise, delight and shine bright. 

New announcements

Bringing not one but two installations to the city centre for Bristol Light Festival is This is Loop, a Somerset-based collaborative partnership between artists Harriet Lumby and Alan Hayes. Known for their large scale, experiential installations, This is Loop are introducing PULSE and Emergence to the winter event, supported by our presenting partner Redcliffe & Temple BID and artwork partner, Broadmead BID.

PULSE, This is Loop

PULSE is an immersive audio-visual installation that explores the perspectives of visual and auditory perception, welcoming visitors to step inside enormous rings of light made up of more that 14,000 individual LEDs as they travel through the sequence. This is Loop collaborated with audio artist Dan Bibby aka ’Weatherbrow’ to create the custom track for PULSE. The main show is a five minute high intensity, tightly choreographed and fast paced audio visual journey and is best viewed from start to finish.  Accompanying this is a 20 minute long piece with a slower, more ambient feel which can be joined at any point. 

Emergence, This is Loop

Emergence is an award-winning audio-visual art installation, created as a place of contemplation amongst the chaos of the outside world. The sculpture is a huge, mirrored structure that is completely reflective and designed to provide audiences with a new perspective of a once-familiar space. Each section is carefully constructed to create an optical illusion inside the unit creating a complete sphere of light when viewed from close by that morphs into a giant grid of light when viewed from a short distance. This enables distinct experiences for the viewer which range from collective to intimate depending on location

Harriet Lumby and Alan Hayes said:

“We’re so excited to be a part of Bristol Light Festival for 2024. We love nothing more than seeing our work out in the world, and watching people interact with and learn from our installations. The art we create is about bringing playful sculptures to audiences, to engulf them in a visual experience like no other. PULSE and Emergence are two very different installations, but both are designed to change the way audiences experience light and the space around them, and we can’t wait to see the reactions from the people of Bristol.”

Elysian by Atelier Sis

Inspired by the ever-changing nature of the world, Elysian immerses guests within illuminated arches to both walk through and under, thanks to our artwork partner Cabot Circus. Inflatable in nature, the work is described as being “at the precipice of change” by the artist. The work is that of award-winning Sydney-based art practice Atelier Sisu. Led by Peruvian sculptor and industrial designer Renzo B. Larriviere and architectural designer and artist Zara Pasfield, the work is inspired by the intertwining of art and architecture, better known as art-chitecture.

Renzo B. Larriviere and Zara Pasfield said:

Elysian is a temporary public art-chitecture piece that exists as a space of reflection, immersion and joy for its audience. The name of the installation is an adjective meaning ‘beautiful or creative, divinely inspired.’ Elysian explores the movement of colour as it interacts with light, and the texture of the artwork allows the material to reflect both natural and artificial light in a unique and eye-catching way. The artwork is accompanied by a soundscape, making the space a fully immersive experience for the audience. We’re very proud to be bringing this work to Bristol Light Festival in February.”

Swing Song, based on a concept by Bristol Light Festival and brought to life by Tired Industries 

Swing Song has been a standout installation at Bristol Light Festival in previous editions. A series of six swings, the childhood favourite artwork is set to music produced especially for the festival, which plays as the audience swings back and forth. One swing controls the bassline, another controls the melody, and a third controls drums and percussion. 

Small movements produce simple tunes, but as users swing higher and higher, the tracks evolve into more complex melodies, giving users control over the song they produce as they swing the night away. Surrounding the installation this time around will be various interactive games, so audiences both young and young at heart will be able to enjoy an increasingly more playful environment. 

Jon Panniers of Tired Industries said:

“The reception of the artwork at the 2023 edition of Bristol Light Festival was amazing and people seemed to really gain a sense of childlike wonder from the piece. Things will be done slightly differently this year, and we can’t wait to see how the people of Bristol respond to the third iteration of Swing Song, as the additional elements we’ve added are set to bring even more joy to families visiting the festival.” 

Bristol Light Festival coincides with the Winter Lights project, which has seen new street lights added across the city for the festive season. These will stay illuminated from 11am to midnight each night throughout January, February and March. New winter tree lights have also been introduced in locations around the city which will be lit daily.

Katherine Jewkes, Creative Director of Bristol Light Festival, said:

“We are absolutely over the moon to have some many incredible artists involved with our next edition. This programme is starting to feel really special and is reflective of Bristol’s creative spirit. Each year our aim is to bring new and show-stopping artworks to Bristol, creating spaces for people to play, explore and have new experiences. We can’t wait to welcome everyone to the Bristol Light Festival and once again fill the city with colour and light.”

Vicky Lee, Head of Bristol City Centre BID, said:

“Last year’s event saw a quarter of a million people visit Bristol city centre and enjoy the festival. It drove both footfall and spend to the city during a predominantly quiet time of year. The event is a real opportunity to support local businesses and enjoy Bristol and all its wonderful retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. Celebrating the creative industries in the city through the Bristol Light Festival platform is incredibly important to us – and the financial and artistic boost the event gives Bristol is phenomenal. We can’t wait for the fourth iteration of such an incredible city-wide event.”

Steve Bluff, Head of Redcliffe & Temple BID, said:

“We’re really proud to be a partner of Bristol Light Festival. This is such a wonderful free event that provides Bristol with a real opportunity to showcase incredible local as well as international talent, and to welcome visitors from near and far to see the city in a whole new light.”

Bristol Light Festival is a free event, and will run from the 2 – 11 February 2024. An award-winning festival, guests travelling from further afield can bolster their visit with an overnight stay in one of the city centre’s award-winning hotels, enjoying all that Bristol has to offer. 

Many hotels in the area are offering discounted rates for those visiting, including The Bristol Hotel, Clayton Hotel, Doubletree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Leonardo Hotel, Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel, The Berkeley Square Hotel and Bristol Harbour Hotel. Last year’s edition saw more than two thirds of all attendees take part in other activities during their visit to the festival, including eating and drinking, shopping and other city centre entertainment – with 20% of those visiting coming to Bristol specifically for the event. For more information on booking your discounted accommodation, head to www.bristollightfestival.org/accommodation 

Bristol Light Festival was founded by Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID) and is presented in partnership with Redcliffe & Temple BID. The festival’s Artwork Partners are Broadmead BID and Cabot Circus. Visit Bristol, Visit West’s consumer channel for Bristol, is this year’s media partner. The festival is curated by Katherine Jewkes, Creative Director. This year, a partnership with Bristol’s Left Handed Giant see’s the local brewery providing the official festival beer for the event.

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