International artists light up Manchester Central Library today as festival opens

International artists light up Manchester Central Library today as festival opens

Celebrating UNESCO's International Year of Light, Enlighten Manchester Festival of Light and Sound Art brings a stellar programme of world premieres, award-winning artworks and international choirs to the city December 10th -12th.


In the heart of the German Christmas Market, local and international artists have lit up Manchester Central Library and The Bridgewater Hall for the next three days, offering visitors a cultural respite from the festive hustle and bustle.


With more than 15 installations, performances and talks confirmed, the festival will be a vibrant celebration of light, sound and literature. Artists include award-winning light artist Paul Friedlander and internationally exhibited light and sound artist Ulf Pedersen, both introducing world premieres and internationally acclaimed audio visual artist Kathy Hinde. Headliners feature alongside more than 10 local artists including critically acclaimed Poet Adelle Stripe, graphic designer Trevor Johnson, light artist Elisa Artesero and photographer Andrew Brooks. Light artist Richard William Wheater is working with Manchester-based youth leadership project RECLAIM sharing young people's vision of what the city could look like in the future.



The festival launch features the world premiere of "The Bremen Town Musicians", a music and live animation work inspired by bestselling author Philip Pullman's new translation of the Brothers' Grimm fairy tales. The concert at Manchester Central Library includes a specially commissioned score by celebrated film composer Enrica Sciandrone for local new music ensemble Psappha. The performance is part of Moving Classics – European Network for New Music supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and by Arts Council England.


Following a successful pilot last year the festival will launch a new relationship with the extraordinary Manchester Central Library as the main venue to bring together exciting local and international talent, skills and energy with an ambitious programme after dark. Light works will also be on show at The Bridgewater Hall from leading audio visual artist Kathy Hinde and Liverpool contemporary composer Matthew Fairclough.



Andy Brydon, Curated Place and festival director said: "Being able to deliver the first full outing of a light festival in Manchester as part of the UNESCO International Year of Light with Central Library and The Bridgewater Hall is the best way we could launch a relationship with these brilliant venues. We're all looking towards developing the light festival as an annual event to inject some high quality public arts into Manchester's Christmas Celebrations. This year we have some of the UK's leading sound and light artists collaborating at the boundaries of their disciplines helping us develop the festival from a pilot to a major family event. Next year we're hoping for more"


Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester Libraries are delighted to be a partner for the first full Enlighten Manchester Festival, creating a point for experimental light, sound and literary works to meet in the stunning setting of Central Library. Commissioning new artworks and performances with Curated Place and The Bridgewater Hall supports our aim to make the library a cultural destination.  We hope families, visitors, art and music lovers will enjoy this enchanting and inspiring event amidst the festive hustle and bustle."



Nick Reed, The Bridgewater Hall's Chief Executive Officer said: "Enlighten Manchester is an impressive festival sharing The Bridgewater Hall's ideals of providing Manchester audiences with ambitious work by local and international artists of the highest calibre.  We are thrilled to be working with Kathy Hinde and Matthew Fairclough, whose captivating works will bring a new dimension to The Bridgewater Hall's magnificent foyer spaces whilst providing an opportunity for the local community to engage with a high quality artistic project. We look forward to further developing our partnership with Curated Place, Central Library and the wider Manchester Libraries team." | @EnlightenMcr