This month, residents of a block of flats in Poole will be turning their building into an art gallery as part of the Light Up Poole festival.
For three nights, from 20th to 22nd February, Poole’s Quay, Old Town and High Street will be transformed after dark by digital light art. As well as newly commissioned work by international artists this year’s festival will have a strong emphasis on participatory community engagement projects. This year’s festival will address diversity in terms of age, faith, social exclusion and migration in response to the theme Spectrum.
The residents of Drake Court have been inspired by the Light Up Poole festival theme to look at the wildlife of Brownsea Island and Europe’s largest natural harbour. The National Trust invited residents to Brownsea to spot the rare red squirrels and learn more from the island rangers; whilst family workshops at Dorset Scrapstore have enabled residents to create light art displays, which will be exhibited during the festival.
This collaborative community project at Drake Court is part of the nationwide Window Wanderland scheme, which aims to transform ordinary streets by encouraging residents to create art installations and display them in their windows after dark.
The Community Chandelier in the Fish Shambles on Poole Quay will find people filling jars with coloured water to place on a frame with a light inside, producing ever-changing combinations of light and colour in the darkness; whilst visitors can also contribute to the contemplative fire garden What Do You Have Faith In? by fire artists AndNow: at St James’s Church.
Belgian artist Tom Dekyvere will be unveiling his new collaborative project, The People’s Florist, in the Thistle Hotel car park. Working with many different communities, he aims to give people a canvas on which to create their own work.
In a project entitled Experimental, students from Bournemouth University’s Media Production course will takeover Poole’s Dolphin Centre after dark; with as many as 15 installations scattered throughout the shopping centre each evening. The pieces explore how technology can enhance art and make the science behind it more accessible to audiences.
Elsewhere, art and design students from Bournemouth and Poole College will show their own interpretations of the Spectrum theme, and host light painting workshops in empty shop spaces on Kingland Crescent.
The physicists and astronomers from the University of Southampton will be back with The Photon Shop at St James’s Community Hall. A big hit at last year’s Light Up Poole, there’s a new invitation to the public to assist in a range of workshop activities around understanding photonics and Dark Energy.
As well as the light art installations, Light Up Poole will also support a programme of talks at Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts. Guest speakers will include TV historian Dr Janina Ramirez; Mark McCaughrean, Senior Science Advisor at the European Space Agency; medieval history expert Professor Giles Gaspar from Durham University; Bournemouth-based lighting designer Michael Grubb on telling stories with light; and Cressida Granger, MD of Poole-based Mathmos, inventors of the original lava lamp in 1963.
When: 20th – 22nd February 2020
Where: High Street, Quay & Old Town, Poole, Dorset
£: Free. Some events are ticketed
More info: lightuppoole.co.uk