Light Night Leeds: Illuminated phoenix will light up city

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A mythical phoenix bringing all four corners of Yorkshire together will light up the city of Leeds in a spectacular display.

The Phoenix in the Stone, will be one of the showpiece events at this year’s ‘Light Night Leeds’ event taking place across the city over two nights from October 6-7.

CLOCKWORK: The animated clock created by Illuminos at the 2014 Light Night Leeds.

CLOCKWORK: The animated clock created by Illuminos at the 2014 Light Night Leeds.

Projected across the front of the iconic Civic Hall building, creators say that the gigantic mythical bird is meant to represent the coming together of four elemental forces, symbolising the different parts of Yorkshire working together, with Leeds at their heart.

Brothers Rob and Matt Vale are from the company Illuminos and were behind the display at Light Night Leeds, two years ago.

Rob, who studied in Leeds, said: “We created Momentous in Leeds a few years ago, and were interested in returning to the same building with a completely different approach.

“We wondered what it might be like to try to create a piece that was like a storytelling, a shadow play piece, almost intimate and made for families to share, but played out as a huge spectacle at the same time.”

The Light Night Leeds festival is now in its 12 year and is gives people the chance to explore Leeds City Centre at night whilst enjoying over 50 spectacular light projections, film, dance, music, theatre and street performances over the two days.

The Thursday night will feature a triathlon-themed procession with a water-themed lantern parade, a trail of cyclists adorned with lights, a fun run as well as a forest of 90 giant, lit dandelions on Merrion Gardens.

Friday’s expanded programme will see local and international artists transforming locations around the city, including The Falls, a 100ft digital waterfall on Queens’ Hotel, and a music and light project in the Trinity Leeds shopping centre.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said that every year, Light Night continues to raise the bar as well as making arts and culture engaging, accessible and fun.

“This year more than ever, as our bid to be European Capital of Culture 2023 gathers pace, we want Light Night to really lay down a marker for what culture means in Leeds, showcasing just how passionate and excited we are to be a city where innovation, art and creativity can shine so brightly.”

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The Phoenix will be created by building up many hundreds of elements across different layers, then animating all of these into a single narrative.

To bring the display to life Rob and Matt use special effects, high powered projectors, speakers and music by award-winning composer John Rea.

Light Night Leeds is organised by Leeds City Council in partnership with the LeedsBID (Business Improvement District) and supported by Arts Council England.

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