River of Light Festival adding colour to lockdown

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Liverpool’s River of Light festival got underway this week showcasing work from local, national and international artists.

Running for 14 days, Liverpool’s waterfront has been illuminated by 11 different visual light sculptures across a 2km route.

The festival was opened with a special online event, marking the one year anniversary of lockdown due to the corinavirus pandemic.

Below, you can see our gallery and guide to each piece, which are lit from 6:30pm-10:30pm every evening.


Rainbow bridge – The largest and most identifiable sculpture, the rainbow bridge is 75 feet long and 30 feet high; displaying a multitude of animations and visible from far away.


Ursula Lassos the Moon – Based off the mythology of the moon being female, this shows the moon held down by a lasso and stake driven into the ground. It rotates fully and displays craters and cracks otherwise only visible through telescopes.


Futures – The main interactive showpiece from the collection. Futures is an audio and visual sculpture on the Pier Head that can be walked through. It is designed to encourage a feeling of togetherness and hope for the future.


Light a wish – Located near ‘Futures’ these floating dandelion sculptures over the water represent the common tradition of making a wish before blowing a dandelion into the air.


Neighbourhood – A personal favourite, this shows illuminated washing lines criss-crossing the streets of Liverpool. The mixture of clothes represents the ethnic and cultural mix that makes up Liverpool and creates a feeling of identity and solidarity.


Exponential – this is a touring sculpture designed and created by Lucid Creates. It features a cube suspended with another cube. Different sensors across the sculpture react to the audience and trigger different lighting and sound.


End over end – Put simply, this is a giant, illuminated slinky that tumbles over Liverpool One. It is a very playful sculpture and sure to be a favourite of the Instagram generation.


Talking heads – These two heads stood outside Liverpool One on the route to the docks are designed to give the effect of being in conversation with each other.


Also at the event are the sculptures ‘Absorbed by Light’ and ‘From Here’.

Absorbed by light is a critique of our modern-day relationship with our phones. You can find these sculptures on benches around the waterfront and sit amongst them.

From Here is located on St George’s Pumping Station are the words “From Here, All the Worlds Futures, From Here, All the Worlds Pasts.” Inspired by the writings of German-Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin, who penned numerous books over a near 60-year career; it has been designed specifically to wrap around this beautiful building.

The sculptures will remain around the waterfront until April 5.

About Henry Brown, JMU Journalism