Stunning arts spectacular will see forces of nature and tech transform City Square: Light Night Leeds 2021

20 Sep 2021

Stunning arts spectacular will see forces of nature and tech transform City Square

Light Night Arts

One of the city’s most recognisable urban landmarks will be the backdrop for a jaw-dropping tribute to the power of nature and technology when Light Night Leeds returns this October.

The Queen’s Hotel on City Square will host an electrifying projection entitled Arc showcasing some of the natural world’s elemental forces as well as digitising the building in a unique spectacle.

Created by Greenaway and Greenaway, made up of brothers Jude and Jolyon Greenaway, the high tech digital projection will bring the building’s façade to life in a fast-paced wave of colour, light, and sound on October 14 and 15.

Speaking ahead of the event, Jude said: “We wanted to create something that could be both entertaining and thought-provoking, and so, in an abstract and dynamic way, we centre on a couple of motifs that we feel are fundamental to everyone in the modern world.

“We have two opposing themes that form the arc of our narrative, from the acceleration of technology that is ever present in our lives, driving our future development, to an observant homage to the power and forces of nature. This is a nod towards the current global environmental situation and predominately a celebration of our home, planet Earth.”

Created using a mixture of sonic composition, digital mapping of the building, animation and film, the piece will be on display on a five minute loop across both nights, meaning there will be plenty of chances to catch it without visitors having to gather in large crowds. Some aspects of the piece are being kept under wraps, but the artists are promising visitors some surprises.

Formed in 2009, Greenaway and Greenaway have previously worked on installations for the V&A and Roundhouse in London and music videos for acts including The Pet Shop Boys and The Who's performance during the London 2012 Olympics.

Speaking about their forthcoming project in Leeds, Joylon added: “This is an organic process that allows us to go in and make something that really feels bespoke. This is also about us making work that sits visibly within the architecture of the space and can be really playful.

“We are really excited about being part of Light Night Leeds and anything that is made for public display is a really humbling experience. We pour energy and passion into our work and always hope that we manage to create connections with the audience.”

This year, Light Night Leeds has the theme of Back to Nature, with artists from around the world creating pieces reflecting nature, the environment, and the animal kingdom.

The event will also encourage visitors to think about how we can all fight climate change and support the planet’s fragile ecosystems. The team behind the event have also been working to make Light Night itself more sustainable both this year and in future.

The 2021 programme has been modified to allow for additional safety measures but will still feature more than 40 installations and artworks spread across ten different zones, many supported by local businesses. Arc will be part of the Station Zone, supported by Channel 4, who recently moved into their new base in City Square’s Majestic building.

In previous years, Light Night has attracted up to 80,000 visitors to the city centre across two nights, generating millions of pounds for the local economy and supporting city centre retail, leisure, and hospitality venues as well as local emerging artists.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “Light Night really is a one-of-a-kind event symbolising everything that makes culture in Leeds so completely unique and special.

“It’s inspiring to know that this year’s installations will be carrying such a powerful message, encouraging all of us to consider our impact on the planet and what we can each do to make Leeds a cleaner and greener place.”

Light Night Leeds takes place on October 14 and 15 from 6.30pm until 10.30pm. More full details of the programme will be available on the Light Night Leeds website in the coming weeks.


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team