International Visits February 2024

LUX Helsinki

International visits

Our Light Up The North members have been enjoying the lights, arts and spaces at some of Europe’s most exciting festivals – all with an eye on planning for this year’s events.

Lux Helsinki

A few members of the team travelled out to Finland in early January for the brilliant Lux Helsinki, whose theme this year was “science from art”. Temperatures might have been a bit on the brisk side (the team had the frozen hair and eyelashes to prove it!) but it was a festival full of warmth and inventiveness. We would like to extend our thanks to the Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland for supporting our visit.

Commenting on the trip, Julie Brown, Executive Director for Light Up Lancaster said:

“It was very interesting to see the development of the festival since my last visit in 2016. The main change being the addition of installations in the wider suburban area. The organisers made us feel extremely welcome and were generous in their hospitality. The bus tour to the suburban areas was particularly appreciated as we would have almost certainly missed out on those artworks otherwise. “

 Mark Swanwick, Arts & Events Officer, Barnsley Bright Nights added:

“We visited the satellite event Lux Korkeasaari at the Helsinki Zoo which hosted four additional light artworks. Very family-friendly, fun and all linked with animals – worked well and was the highlight of the trip artistically due to the strong thematic content. There was a cost to enter the zoo and interesting to see a mixed festival model of free and paid-for artworks.” 

Lichtfestival Gent

Then in February, a few more network partners visited Belgium’s Lichtfestival Gent, which this year introduced a new festival route to celebrate recent developments in the city’s historic centre – a wonderful celebration of art integrating with the new and old spaces.

Kate Doyle Head of Programme, Salford Lightwaves noted:

“The festival encompassed thirty-one artworks including a number of very large-scale pieces. I had seen some of the pieces previously however Evanescent was displayed in a way I hadn’t seen before and I thought it looked at its best.  For future festivals there are several pieces I would be interested in booking for Lightwaves”

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