Dazzling arts spectacular puts city’s culture in the spotlight
Crowds of thousands flocked to see the city centre transformed by the unforgettable spectacle of Light Night Leeds.
Some of Leeds’s most iconic buildings and locations were once again the setting for a compelling collection of creations by artists from across the globe during the event’s opening evening last night.
A breath-taking parade of light and sound got the event officially underway, winding its way up The Headrow and through the city centre as awestruck spectators lined the streets.
The When Dreams Run Wild parade, which took place on the opening night only, featured a unique centre-piece created by The Lantern Company and local community groups, Spanish artists El Carramato’s Big Dancers and Picto Facto’s giant Lampadophores from France, all accompanied by performers from Northern Rascals and the Spark! LED Drummers.
Across the city centre, more than 60 impressive installations, projections and performances amazed onlookers as the festival took over Leeds for the 15th year in a row. Each artwork was tailored to themes of Mind, Body and Spirit and was hosted by one of eleven zones, supported by local businesses and this year’s headline sponsor Vastint UK.
Inside Leeds Town Hall the beautiful Reflecting Holons installation hypnotised visitors while outside, Victoria Gardens hosted the mesmerising Angels of Freedom, which saw a host of illuminated angels in an interactive display, with the chance to don a glowing halo and wings and capture a heavenly photo.
Leeds Civic Hall was the canvas for Telekinetic Rumours, a stunning surrealistic projection by Polish visual artist Pani Pawlosky which examines the flow of energy between mind, body, and soul.
Elsewhere The Queens Hotel hosted a striking projection entitled The Vision, by projection mapping studio Ocubo from Portugal, which explores the imaginations of two characters and their elaborate dreams.
Illuminated walking Dream Trees were brought to the city by Vastint UK in celebration of Aire Park, the new multi-purpose district soon to transform the South Bank while visitors could also explore the immersive, multi-sensory Pleasance installation at the Tetley Brewery site.
Victoria Leeds hosted a collection of giant seesaws entitled Wave-Field, giving visitors an opportunity to team up and create their own unique patterns and harmonies and at Leeds Dock more than 100 illuminated origami boats took to the water, all controlled by spectator’s smartphones.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Light Night is always one of the most popular and highly-anticipated occasions in Leeds and it never fails to surpass expectations. Once again we’ve seen thousands of people and families come together at the heart of the city centre and be captivated and inspired by this truly incredible spectacle.
“The sheer creativity and imagination which goes into Light Night is a remarkable thing to see and for so many talented artists to come to Leeds from all across the world is also a real endorsement of the city’s reputation as an international centre of cultural excellence.”
Light Night Leeds will continue this evening, with events set to run from 6pm until 11pm.
For more details about the programme and installations visit www.lightnightleeds.co.uk or follow @lightnightleeds on Twitter and Instagram.