A centerpiece of the Edinburgh International Festival and recently staged in the docklands of Yokohama in Japan , the night-time work uses light, intentional movement and sound to change the way we see and feel about a chosen environment.
Hundreds of runners, including our own Owen Hutchings, (pictured) wore specially commissioned LED light suits created beautiful, choreographed patterns of light flowing through the streets and quays of Salford also incorporating over bridges and around public spaces and buildings. ‘Speed Of Light’ can be seen as a piece of abstract art on the grandest scale: monumental but surprisingly quiet and reflective.
If only the weather that evening was like !!!!
Looking Forward – the group formed to raise awareness of those suffering from dementia and memory problems in a positive light – enjoyed a trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) in March.
Set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland at Bretton Hall on the outskirts of Wakefield, YSP features work by leading contemporary sculptors including Henry Moore, Antony Gormley, Barbara Hepworth, Jonathon Borofsky, Joan Miro and Magdalena Abakanowicz.
On arrival the group toured the site and took in a temporary exhibition by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE.
The park made a big impact on group chairman John Kelly: “I’ve been really impressed and inspired. Having looked at the artworks I feel I have something to take back with me and the sculptures will become a prime point of conversation and something to discuss with friends,” explained John who is a former member of the group.
Looking Forward was set up in 2012 and encourages those affected by dementia and memory loss to meet at various organised events to discuss their experiences and touch base with people in similar situations to their own.
Gary gives his orders !
An enthusiastic resident group from Helena Housing enjoyed a cultural trip to Blackpool and were pleasantly surprised by The Great Promenade Show on Blackpool’s South Shore.
A series of artworks, commissioned in the last ten years and produced by some of the UK’s finest emerging artists, now takes pride of place on the South Shore.
The Helena Housing Group took particular interest in a giant glitter ball reflecting Blackpool’s reputation as the leading ballroom dance town in the UK.
Produced by artist Michael Trainor the giant piece is entitled They Shoot Horses Don’t They? and takes its title from an American film about a dance marathon on Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles.
Despite glorious sunshine, the temperature struggled to get above freezing but the icy wind didn’t deter the group: “The artwork is so interesting and unusual I didn’t really notice the cold,” said one group member.
The group went on to view the other artworks including Glam Rocks by Peter Friedman and Water Wings by Bruce Williams.
Before returning to St Helens the group checked out the Comedy Carpet situated on the prom beneath the iconic Blackpool Tower. One of the UK’s largest pieces of public art and built at a cost of £2.6 million, the mosaic celebrates the contribution to comedy by more than 1,000 writers and performers and includes lines like: Nice to see you to see you nice!
The Helena Group really had a ‘nice’ trip and the journey back to St Helens was filled with chat about the artwork, the artist and – typical of any trip to the English seaside – the weather!
‘They Shoot Horses’ ‘Comedy Carpet’
The Masks Group had a fascinating day in Liverpool visiting the Fact gallery where they were treated to Noisy Table which is the first project and the launch of the FACT Connects programme, which is committed to reaching out to local artists, musicians, organisations and independent businesses, allowing their presence to be felt in the FACT building.
Created by artist Will Nash, Noisy Table is programmed with a library of digital
instruments and samples. The vibrations created when the ball hits the table are turned into sounds, which are then broadcast live back into the game. Buttons at either end of the table allow players to scroll through the library and change the sounds. Lots of fun was had with competitiveness creeping in !!!
Bringing back clubland is a project to bring back fond memories of times gone by to people suffering with Dementia. Proper singers, DJ and games of prize bingo aim to rekindle the era of the 50’s 60’s and 70’s when clubland ruled. Staff and suffers both enjoy the music and the dancing that the afternoon brings. The smiles and the laughter in the pictures tell the story of how this therapy works.
The younger visually impaired group were treated to the production of ‘My Perfect Mind’ its the story of Edward Petherbridge acclaimed classical actor who suffered a stroke two days into rehearsal of the role of King Lear, what emerges is a skilfully constructed biographical narrative performed with playful ease by Edward Petherbridge and Paul Hunter. The false start to the production was not quite as successful as it might, but once the mimed curtain is pulled the two hit their stride with ease.
The cast of two manage to pull you in and ignore you when the focus becomes more serious, but what is most striking is how the two met and how clearly a bond and respect blossomed, this is echoed within the drama as you witness Laurence Olivier played by Hunter and Petherbridge in the canteen of the National Theatre, listening and praising his acing hero.
The group said they enjoyed the night but were surprisingly reticent in their praise of the actors and the performance saying they were ‘OK’.
The Misanthrope, or the Cantankerous Love is a 17th-century comedy of manners in verse written by Molière. It was first performed on 4 June 1666 at the Theatre du Palais-Royal, Paris by the King’s Players. The play satirizes the hypocrisies of French aristocratic society, but it also engages a more serious tone when pointing out the flaws that all humans possess. The play differs from other farces at the time by employing dynamic characters like Alceste and Célimène as opposed to the traditionally flat characters used by most satirists to criticize problems in society. It also differs from most of Molière’s other works by focusing more on character development and nuances than on plot progression. The play, though not a commercial success in its time, survives as Molière’s best-known work today