As the dreary nights of January and the bitter cold keep us wrapped up inside, Illuminate Bath gives people a reason to fight the weather and see the city like never before.
The fantastic event lighting up the streets of Bath returns to our city this year from Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 January. As the joys of Christmas and New Year fade away and the pressure of New Year’s resolutions loom over us with every chocolate we devour, we need some light relief. And Illuminate Bath is the perfect remedy for the January gloom.
The free ‘light festival’ transforms the beautiful city of Bath into a mesmerising sea of light projections depicting art from both local and international artists. The creative Bath Spa University will be involved in the festival, providing artwork from students studying at the Sion Hill campus. Bath school children’s work will also be displayed, creating an assorted range of talent for all ages to enjoy. The projections, cascading gracefully across public spaces, such as the Roman baths, will be free to explore for the whole public. Tourists will be drawn like moths to flame to the rich culture offered up by Bath and its artistic finesse. But this will also be something for the locals who wish to be immersed in the elegance of their own city.
This year, the highlight of the festival will surely be Clockwork City, which is a collection of art created by Greyworld, who have produced mystical public artworks in major cities such as London and Bangkok. What makes this exhibition stand out is its interactivity. Large keys are concealed around Bath and are attached to anonymous objects like benches, creating a stimulating treasure hunt for the children – and secretly, the adults too. The magical keys switch on lights or sounds that burst vibrantly into the frosty night and give the event a profoundly communal feel.
Anyone can become absorbed in the beauties of the flowing colours of light and art that illuminate the city. Budding artists will relish Bath’s artistic culture, with the modern art projected on the old limestone buildings creating a wonderful paradox. Tourists will adore the bizarre, innovative art display and come away with an extremely unique experience. However, if you’re a Bath resident, I’d recommend that you witness your own beautiful city more than anyone else, bathed in the glorious light of imagination and creativity. Illuminate Bath is the spark needed to kick start 2012.
Illuminate Bath 25 – 28 January 2012, transforming Bath every day from 5-8pm.
Our thanks to Katie Amos for this article.