Last week I had the opportunity to enjoy two evenings of the arts in Canterbury city centre. The first featured The Marlowe Theatre’s spring season launch and the second was a visit to ‘Shine: Let There Be Light!’ at Canterbury Cathedral. Luxmuralis’ light show was the finale for this year’s Canterbury Festival, which takes place every autumn and celebrates the arts over a period of two to three weeks. The light and sound installations took the city by storm over the weekend, offering audiences three evenings of continuous shows. The performances were very popular and quickly sold out, so I was relieved to have booked my tickets a few weeks early.
Luxmuralis are widely known across the country thanks to their conscientious light and sound installations in historic venues. Last week they brought ‘Shine: Let There Be Light!’ to life in the arches and walkways of the cathedral, telling stories of science through projections and enigmatic music. Luxmuralis have exhibited in many cathedrals across the country and at the same time as their Canterbury show was in operation, they were presenting ‘Space Voyager’ in Bristol Cathedral. It was very exciting to have Luxmuralis in town, transforming the cathedral with beautiful imagery and videos.
About Shine: Let There Be Light!
The show consisted of a self-guided walking tour of the Cathedral, featuring a series of wonderfully crafted and themed exhibits. A one-way route had been set up throughout the building with visitors taking it in turns to explore the different areas. It took approximately one hour to complete the full loop, taking in the stained glass, nature, space and science-themed installations.
The core exhibits each lasted for approximately 8-10 minutes in length, but there were shorter interactive projections on the archways between them. I found that the longer videos consumed my thoughts and attention, so the couple of minute shorter pieces provided a welcome change of pace. These breaks also gave visitors a chance to marvel at the technology and appreciate the precision of the artwork.
Thoughts on the exhibition
As much as I enjoyed capturing the exhibits on my camera, the lens really did not do the exhibition justice. There was mind-blowing footage of moving jellyfish, dolphins and marine life projected over the cathedral architecture, swimming up and down the walls. I could not believe the complexity of what we were seeing; the cathedral was barely recognisable with the moving images.
The exhibit that showcased pioneering figures throughout history had the greatest impact for me. It was amazing to see history visualised on the walls of such a historic building. The same applies for the scientific discovery projections that referenced groundbreaking equations and the makeup of DNA. These pieces took on a deeper meaning for me, highlighting how science and religion can coexist in harmony.
The entire ambiance of the building had changed for the three day event, with the entranceway lit in a brilliant purple and various other locations decorated in red and green. Funnily enough the mood lighting effects actually made you feel like you were experiencing a haunted house at times, transporting me to the Haunted Mansion attraction at Walt Disney World. Purple and green are such powerful Halloween colours when displayed together.
Future Luxmuralis events
I was disappointed that Shine: Let There Be Light! was only in Canterbury for three days. It would have been amazing to go back for a repeat visit and have a look at everything again. However, the short schedule made the event feel all the more special, as tickets were hard to come by.
If you missed out on getting tickets, Luxmuralis have four other shows across the country before the end of the year. In December the events have nativity inspired names, so if you head to Sheffield, Liverpool or Winchester Cathedral during this time, you will get to see the famous Luxmuralis installations with a festive twist. Hopefully one year they will exhibit at Canterbury Cathedral during the lead up to Christmas. It would be a welcome addition to Canterbury’s festive offerings.
Thanks for reading my blog today.
Love Kat xxxx