Waterfront taken over by outdoor illuminated art gallery on lockdown anniversary

Gemma Bradley PA
·2-min read

A trail of artwork will light up Liverpool to mark a year since a national lockdown was announced.

The River Of Light Trail will open on Tuesday at 6pm and allow residents to appreciate artworks in a 2km walking loop around Liverpool’s waterfront.

The trail, which will run from 6pm to 10.30pm every evening until April 5, is made up of 11 audio and video installations from local, national and international artists.

River of Light – Liverpool
Talking Heads, one of the eleven audio and visual installations (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool’s acting mayor Wendy Simon, said: “The driving force is to bring joy and light to residents in what has been a dark year for all of us.

“This outdoor art gallery will be fun, engaging, ambitious and thought-provoking and will hopefully give visitors a sense of normality in a year that has been anything but normal.

“We are known the world over for the pedigree of our outdoor culture – and by staging this collection we hope to send out the message that despite the challenges of Covid-19, we are far from beaten, and will come back stronger and brighter.”

River of Light – Liverpool
Local, national and international artists contributed to the project (Peter Byrne/PA)

Among the artworks on display are the 30.5m long and nine-metre high Rainbow Bridge, made up of more than 25,000 LEDs, and Light A Wish, which will see 20 illuminated two-metre high dandelions floating over the canal on the Pier Head.

Jo Pocock, artistic director of Lantern Company said: “Like many creative organisations, this is the first live event Lantern Company have been part of in many months and we are committed to working in sustainable ways, re-thinking practices and ensuring change will happen.”

The event has been designed to adhere to social distancing guidelines and visitors will be encouraged to wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser.

River of Light – Liverpool
People explore the installation called Futures (Peter Byrne/PA)

Bradley Hemmings, artistic director of Festival.Org, said: “Public safety is of course always the primary concern of us all, and it has been incredibly heartening to see the incredible resourcefulness that has gone into adapting plans to ensure that these beautiful installations can be safely enjoyed.”

In accordance with Government guidelines, organisers have warned only residents local to the waterfront should visit the installations until March 28 and from March 29 the rule of six or two households mixing outdoors rules should be followed.