Dazzling display of fire and ice set to light up Leeds
Breath-taking sculptures illuminated by bright orange flames are set to fire the imaginations of visitors to this year’s Light Night Leeds.
The incredible creations are one of a huge programme of installations inspired by the elements, which will be on display across the city as part of this year’s two night festival.
Created by international artist Aragorn Dick-Read, the impressive sculptures will be put in place on Queen Square on October 7.
Based in the British Virgin Islands, Aragorn first began crafting his designs when a huge buoy washed up on the beach near his studio in Trellis Bay Village, which he cut out and lit up internally with fire.
Using welded steel, with designs drawn on by hand and cut with a plasma cutter, Aragorn’s work has since been displayed across the world including in London, New York and Antigua.
His designs for next month’s Light Night, called Fire Balls, will mark his first taste of life in Leeds and, speaking ahead of the event, the artist said he hoped they would inspire the thousands of people set to flock to the city centre.
Aragorn said: “It’s a wonderful honour to be selected to participate in Light Night and great credit to the city of Leeds that it can engage with an artist from a small island nation like British Virgin Islands. It also fits well with the city’s historically strong relationship with the West Indies and it is an exciting prospect to have my work shown in such a historic and important city.
“Art serves as an international force that brings people together, so we can all try to better understand the human condition - and to live in peace. Festivals of art are an important tool to achieve this goal.”
Aragorn said his designs follow themes of a “primal and pastoral time, where humans lived closer to nature” and he draws inspiration from studying the world history of art, its role in society and his Virgin Island roots.
His fire-themed work is will be on Queen Square from 6pm-11pm and is part of the event’s elemental theme. It will also be counterbalanced elsewhere by a series of ice sculptures on Briggate, which will be on display at the same time.
Entitled Ethereal Freeze, the frozen sculptures use ice and light to capture the beauty of the elements.
Now in its 12th year, Light Night is organised by Leeds City Council in association with the LeedsBID (Business Improvement District) and supported by Arts Council England.
Light Night features more than 50 events outside and in venues across the city centre and this year, for the first time ever, will take place over two nights on October 6-7.
Thursday night will feature a family-friendly programme, including a dazzling light triathlon and lantern parade as well as the spectacular Phoenix in the Stone projection on Leeds Civic Hall, which will also take place on the Friday.
Friday’s expanded programme will see local and international artists transforming locations around the city, including The Falls, a 100ft digital waterfall on the Queens Hotel, and Today, a ground-breaking music and light project in the Trinity Leeds shopping centre.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Light Night is one of our city’s most popular and exciting cultural events, welcoming thousands of people of all ages from across Leeds, who come together at the heart of the city and play their part in what is always a unique collective experience.”
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID, added: “Light Night is a shining star in the city’s cultural calendar and illuminates Leeds in spectacular fashion. It was one of the first events LeedsBID became involved with and we are delighted to continue to financially support this event and to assist practically, extending its audience, appeal and people’s overall enjoyment.”
All Light Night Leeds events are free to attend, but some may require advance booking.
For more details and a full event programme, please visit: www.lightnightleeds.co.uk
To learn more about Aragorn's work, visit: http://aragornsstudio.com/Aragorn.htm
Five elemental events for Light Night
Briggate, Friday, October 7 from 6pm to 11pm
Ethereal Freeze will see glacial art ice sculptures put in place that will use the medium of ice and light to capture the fleeting beauty of fire, wind, earth and water.
The Indestructible Reef
Victoria Gardens, The Headrow, October 6-7, 6pm-11pm.
Created by artist Alison M Smith The Indestructible Reef is made up of a series of glowing sculptures created from recycled plastic, crafted to mimic organic forms.
The installation aim to illustrate the effects waste plastics have on our oceans.
Victoria Square, The Headrow, October 7, 7.30pm, 8.45pm, 10.15pm.
Featuring beautifully choreographed fire dancing and stunning pyrotechnics, Flame Oz will be performing through the night for visitors to Light Night.
Explore the Elements
Leeds Central Library, Calverley Street, October 7, 5-10pm.
Visitors can experience the elements through art and crafts, films and displays created especially for the night.
They can also discover stories of lost voyages and daring expeditions through the library’s historic collection of books and maps.
World of Ice and Fire
Parkinson Court, University of Leeds, October 7, 6pm-10pm
Medieval people imagined the world as being made up of just four elements: earth, water, fire and air.
Looking back through history, the university will give visitors the chance to explore a space inspired by elemental imagery from medieval maps.