River of Light 21 October – 6 November 2022 Liverpool’s waterfront
Spanning a 2km trail around Liverpool’s iconic waterfront, the installations will include a mix of brand new commissions, as well as existing artworks, which haven’t been on display in the city before.
The event, which is FREE to all and is made up of ten artworks from a host of local, national and international artists, will this time feature exclusive commissions from French-born, London based designer, Camille Walala, as well as London-based designer Yinka Ilori. Both have received critical acclaim for their previous artworks, having partnered with global brands and been displayed in some of the world’s most famous galleries and museums.
Camille Walala is an influential leader within London’s street art scene, best known for her colourful murals and dazzling installations which have travelled as far as New York and Buenos Aires. It’s now Liverpool’s turn to receive the Walala touch, as she brings her new commission ‘Turn The Light On, It’s Dark In Here’ to the event.
The piece is a dynamic melange of colourful architectural forms that seem to play with depth and dimensionality like a trompe l’oeil, creating an abstracted cityscape of light. Outlined in vibrant primary colours, curves and rounded contours collide with rigid right angles of squares and steps, semicircles jostle among grid patterns, and cuboids tower like skyscrapers.
An evolution of the ‘Putting Things in Perspective’ series of 2D/3D investigations that Camille Walala has been exploring for the last two years, this explosively energetic light sculpture takes the artist into a new medium: programmed LEDs.
Speaking of her excitement to bring this new artwork to Liverpool, Camille said: “Working with light as the base of the piece has been an exciting challenge for me as it’s the first time I have used this medium before. It’s a very different approach for me, and I’m delighted with the new dimension that light has brought to my work. I can’t wait to see the piece in place – I hope it brings a touch of playfulness and delight to the Docks.”
Yinka Ilori, known for his bold visual language drawing on his British-Nigerian heritage to convey new narratives through contemporary design, will also be displaying a newly commissioned piece at River of Light; ‘Dancing Ribbons’.
Ilori’s piece responds to the theme, ‘Unexpected Twist’, by drawing inspiration from rhythmic gymnastics. His installation aims to capture the energy and poetic relationship between the gymnast and the prop ribbons.
LED ribbons within a large-scale mesh box suspended from the ceiling will mimic the movement of the gymnasts and recreate the organic forms, colour transitions and joy of a performance. It also aims to capture the energy of Liverpool and the audience through this emotive and expressive artwork.
Yinka Ilori will also collaborate with contemporary conceptual sound artist, Peter Adjaye, to add another dimension to the artwork. He is an accomplished composer, producer, musicologist, a creative consultant and educator. His unique set of skills and vast experience have enabled him to continually develop his borderless work, which has been shown globally, including in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The composition he’s creating will be an exclusive and original multi-channel audio soundscape of percussion, that will fluidly move through the installation to create a totally immersive experience. It will encourage visitors to interact with the installation in a joyful, organic and spontaneous way, further emphasising the realms of dance, choreography and performance, where the visitor becomes not only part of the performance, but also able to direct the performance with their own body movements.
Artists Kazimier Productions, Lucid Creates and Amigo & Amigo will also feature at this year’s River of Light. For 2022, River of Light will also co-deliver a series of workshops, discussions and masterclasses with Make Bank and some of the artists commissioned for the event.
River of Light will be delivered by Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team and is supported by Arts Council England, with Marketing Liverpool leading on the marketing campaign. Last year saw a record breaking 150,000 visitors to the event, with 1.5 million people visiting the retail area during the October half term 2021, a post-pandemic high. Retail and hospitality also both saw large boosts in custom and sales during the event period.
It joins a number of high profile events happening in Liverpool in October and November, making the city a must-visit destination for arts and culture this autumn. From Thursday 20 October to Sunday 19 March, Tate Liverpool will be showcasing work from the 2022 Turner Prize nominees in a free exhibition, with the winner announced in December. From Saturday 29 October until Sunday 6 November, the world’s most elite athletes will come together to compete at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
Newly announced to take place from Friday 14 October to Sunday 6 November, Our Place in Space, the three-dimensional sculpture trail and AR app showcasing the vastness of the solar system, created by artist Oliver Jeffers, scientist Professor Stephen Smartt and creative team at Nerve Centre, will come to Liverpool.
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