Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Festival of light to shine on River Mersey
30/9/08 Liza Williams Daily Post
EIGHT of the most innovative lighting designers in the world are coming to Liverpool this October to create a month-long festival of light spanning the River Mersey.
The Pool of Light is the most ambitious project of its type undertaken by the Professional Lighting Designers’ Association (PLDA) and has been organised by Liverpool Vision.
The designers will lead teams of volunteers from all over the world – including people from Liverpool – and within workshops they will design and create lighting ideas concentrating on seven real locations in the city centre and Wirral.
The temporary lighting installations are delivered from scratch in just one week, and will be linked by a specially illuminated Mersey ferry.
The lighting designers, from countries including the US, Germany and Sweden have already visited the city touring the locations to ensure their talent and experience can create the greatest visual impact.
Ian McCarthy, programme director at Liverpool Vision, said: “The Pool of Light is about Liverpool having the confidence to show itself off. Lighting is now recognised as important in making towns and cities better places and Liverpool has done much in recent times to make the city attractive at night.
“The extension of the working day, the blurring of the distinction between work and leisure time and the gradual shift towards the 24-hour city mean that lighting towns and cities is increasingly important.
“This festival will emphasise the benefits of lighting in making the most of our architectural heritage and how we are blending the old with the new in Liverpool.”
Five of the lighting schemes will be in and around Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle and the other two will be at Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, and at the ventilation shaft at Seacombe.
In addition, lighting events in this year’s Liverpool Biennial will play a part in adding to the night-time colour of the city, including the Hope Street Project, an art installation linking Liverpool's two cathedrals with lasers.
The switch-on on October 31 coincides with the Pool of Light – Light and Scale Conference which will examine the importance of good architectural lighting and describe the workshop schemes and involve high-profile keynote speakers.
Guided walking tours will be available to the public from November 1. Cllr Jean Stapleton, Wirral’s cabinet member for regeneration and planning strategy, said: “We have been working closely with colleagues in Liverpool on this project.
“Wirral and Liverpool will be linked at night by a specially lit ferry creating a beautiful spectacle on one of the greatest cultural attractions across the River Mersey, which is our most famous gateway.”
Cllr Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool City Council, added: “The Pool of Light should bring the wow factor again towards the end of our successful year as European Capital of Culture.
“This festival will also enhance our growing international reputation for imaginative lighting of our landmark buildings, but importantly this is also an inclusive project and our residents will also see the benefits imaginative lighting can bring.”
FOR further information on the Pool of Light, or to get involved,