Following on from the success of last year which saw MediaCityUK taken over by gigantic luminous bunnies, Lightwaves will be returning to The Quays and MediaCityUK, daily from 12:00-22:30 from 9th - 18th December and as always, everything will be free!
Featuring brand-new commission, as well as existing work from world-class digital artists, presentations of work from emerging artists and exciting workshops, Lightwaves will illuminate the area long after the sun has set, bringing light to those dark winter nights.
There'll be a total of 9 artworks spanning across The Quays, from the Plaza between The Lowry and the Lowry Outlet, to MediaCityUK's Piazza, and even in the River Irwell.
Interactivity plays a huge part in the programme this year, with visitors able to engage with the work in a multitude of ways. Brand new installation Heart Beat, by artists and installation specialists GNI Projects, encourages visitors to make a connection of love or friendship by joining hands in front of the sculpture to complete the 'circuit' and combine fragmented lights within the structure to reveal the symbol of a heart. Heart Beat is a commission by Quays Culture in partnership with Blackpool Illuminations.
Another large-scale piece - Today I Love You, created by Massimo Uberti & Marco Pollice, is a statement sentence written in light that will stand tall on MediaCityUK's Piazza.Voyage by Aether & Hemera features a total of 198 origami boats which visitors can control using their mobile phones, transforming the pattern and colours in real-time.
Emerging talent programme SHINE, in partnership with Leeds Light Night, sees the creation of three new commissions from three up-and-coming artists. Footsteps by Sam Sebbage, consists of 80 illuminated footsteps walking a path which visitors can follow through the gardens. Edyta Masior's Laiki#3 blurs the boundaries between artwork and instrument, creating harp-like sounds when played. Finally we have Fireflies by Fixed Grinn Collective, consisting of hundreds of floating LED spheres, which respond to their surroundings as they 'fly' amongst those that visit them.
Salford will also see a slice of Blackpool come to The Quays and MediaCityUK, with a selection of their world-famous illuminations taking residence on the waterside and in the gardens. Expect tv favourites from past and present including Dr Who Daleks, Postman Pat, Noddy and Spongebob Squarepants. There'll also be a forest of beautiful LED trees and some astronomically large spacemen!
As part of Quays Culture's Northern Artist Film Competition, Chris Paul Daniels and Sam Meech will present their commissioned film One Square Mile, which explores environments, architecture and communities within a square mile of The Quays and MediaCityUK, celebrating the diversity of people within the area, and how they interact. This will be screened in a shipping container on location, amongst a selection of Artist Films commended in the competition. For those wanting to try their hand at creating their own piece of light art, we'll be hosting a workshop in the Lowry Outlet on 9th-11th December between 12:00-14:30 and 16:30-19:30, where visitors can create their own light graffiti alongside visual artist Sarah Wakeford.
The countdown to Lightwaves 2016 has begun; you can follow the conversation on social media and share your own experience of the festival with the hashtag #Lightwaves16.