Light Night 2017: Spectacular display set to throw new light on the story of our city
A dramatic new projection capturing the spirit, history and heritage of Leeds will illuminate one of the city's most famous buildings when Light Night Leeds returns this October.
A dramatic new projection capturing the spirit, history and heritage of Leeds will illuminate one of the city’s most famous buildings when Light Night Leeds returns this October.
Leeds Civic Hall will be the canvas for the breath-taking digital arts display entitled Out of the Aire, which has been created by Ross Ashton and Karen Monid of The Projection Studio.
Together, they have been speaking to people across Leeds, researching some of the many colourful characters and events both past and present that have helped shape the story of the city.
The unique projection is still being finalised, but will feature dynamic images and figures from the worlds of entertainment, sports and engineering accompanied by music from local artists and bands.
Among those who will be included will be big top pioneer Pablo Fanque, Britain’s first black circus owner, who is buried in Leeds alongside his wife. The city’s own cycling legend Beryl Burton, who won more than 90 domestic championships and seven world titles during a glittering career will also be part of the display.
Karen, who spent last weekend recording voices of Leeds residents to include in the piece, said: “We really want this piece to be Leeds talking about Leeds, something meaningful and emotional for the city and the people who live here.
“It’s going to be bright and colourful, like nothing that people have seen before and we’ll also be delving into a lot of archive material and telling some of the secret stories of Leeds that people might not know as much about.”
She added: “When you speak to anyone in Leeds about Light Night, they all love it and Leeds does have this amazing history of hosting big events and really adopting them as part of life in the city- and that all comes from the people and what they want.
“There’s a real colour, energy and passion all around Leeds and I think harnessing that will also give the city a great chance of becoming European Capital of Culture in 2023.”
Out of the Aire will be among more than 40 incredible arts events that will transform the city centre on Light Night, which is now in its 13th year and which takes place on October 5 and 6.
This year’s event will celebrate the people of Leeds, with other highlights including a series of giant lamps along the length of Briggate, presented in association with LeedsBid, and an illuminated parade featuring performers from Leeds West Indian Carnival.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “There really is nothing like the atmosphere on Light Night and the sheer colour and creativity of the imaginative installations which transform our city each year is genuinely awe-inspiring.
“Light Night Leeds is one the biggest, best and brightest occasions on the city’s calendar, bringing together 80,000 people to experience something truly unique and unforgettable.
“It also makes a powerful statement about what the arts mean to Leeds and how much a successful bid to be European Capital of Culture has the capacity to unlock even more of the city’s vast cultural potential.”
Out of the Aire will take place on both October 5 and 6. Details on more installations will be released in the coming weeks.
For more details on Light Night Leeds, including how to plan your evening, visit: http://whatson.leeds.gov.uk/lightnight
Daredevil circus pioneer Pablo Fanque was a true trailblazer, who captivated audiences across the UK and even inspired a classic Beatles hit.
Beginning his career as an equestrian performer in the 1840s, Fanque later became the first black circus owner in Britain.
His exciting attraction grew to be the most popular in the country for 30 years during the golden age of Victorian circuses.
In 1848, during one of several performances in Leeds, his wife Susannah Marlaw was killed in a tragic accident. She was buried Woodhouse Lane Cemetery, now St. George’s Field on the University of Leeds campus.
Fanque himself died almost 20 years later in Stockport, but was buried in Leeds alongside his beloved wife following a memorable funeral procession which included his favourite horse.
More than a century a later, John Lennon used an 1843 playbill for Fanque’s Circus Royal, which he’d bought in an antique shop, to compose the lyrics for Beatles hit Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite!
The song featured on the band’s world famous album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.