NOT one, but two public art events are coming to Sefton Park, illuminating the dark nights this February half-term (20-24). City of Light, City of Sanctuary is a magical floating city of lanterns on the park’s boating lake, and ‘Habitats’ – a trail featuring glowing animals and incredible plants in the Palm House gardens.
The floating city of lantern buildings will be brought to life by an epic soundscape of original music, poetry and real-life stories, and will bring Liverpool communities, international artists and generations together through a blend of community creativity, architectural artworks and family participation.
Using the simplest materials of paper, sticks and stories, City of Light, City of Sanctuary will be an inspirational public space for reflection on local and global experiences of migration, home and belonging – issues affecting many people and communities across the world today. City of Light, City of Sanctuary is free to attend, and will take place on the park’s boating lake from February 21-24 (5-9pm).
For an up-close experience audiences can buy tickets (£6 plus booking fee) to Habitats: Critters and Creatures Aglow! Visitors can enjoy an illuminated animal story trail in the grounds of Sefton Park Palm House, from February 20-24 (5pm-9pm). Connected to the floating city by a short walk from the lakeside, audiences will be able to explore the trail and discover talking indigenous animal lanterns in their own habitats throughout the half term. Find out more about where our wildlife lives, and direct from the hedgehogs mouth, how we can help protect them and their natural environments. Habitats, plus a series of community workshops will be ticketed in order to raise funds to support the City of Light, City of Sanctuary installation.
To be involved in the creation of City of Light, City of Sanctuary and the chance to work with the team at Lantern Company, open community workshops will take place in venues across the city in the run up to the event.Tickets cost £10 (plus booking fee) and the workshops last from two-six hours. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants will be able to collect their lantern in the week after the event has taken place.
Mini-lantern workshops will also take place during the day inside the Grade II* listed Sefton Park Palm House. Book on or drop in to make a mini house lantern and take it with you to view the City of Light, City of Sanctuary installation. Tickets for the workshop cost £6 (plus booking fee). Family ticket – £20 (plus booking fee).
Jo Pocock, artistic director, Lantern Company, said: “City of Light, City of Sanctuary will see hundreds of illuminated lantern buildings, made through community participation and by our professional team, come together into a glowing cityscape floating on Sefton Park’s boating lake – from shelters, houses and blocks of flats to warehouses and iconic buildings from Liverpool and around the world. The soundscape and voices of the city will also be an amazing experience for visitors to listen to as they wander around the lakeside.
“We‘ve been working with Writing on the Wall over the last few months through an outreach writing project to record real life tales and reflections to incorporate into the soundscape. By bringing generations and communities together, City of Light, City of Sanctuary gives voice to a multitude of diverse experiences and aims to offer a vision of hope, light and solidarity.”
Liverpool’s deputy mayor and cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, councillor Wendy Simon, said: “City of Light in Sefton Park looks set to be another truly spectacular event from the amazingly creative minds at Lantern Company. Not only will the event look incredible, it will bring the whole community together to create something really special under the stars.”
Lisa Pearson, head of marketing, Arriva North West & Wales, said: “We’re delighted to once again be working with Lantern Company for this event and are proud to be helping in bringing an amazing, artistic vision for Sefton Park to life. For more information on best ways to travel to City of Light in Sefton Park by bus, we recommend checking out our Journey Planning app.”
Lantern Company are also hosting a two-day lantern-making masterclass, where participants will be able to create a large-scale lantern. The masterclass is facilitated by internationally-acclaimed designer/maker Gavin Lewery and lighting designer/artist Rob Hill, each with over 30 years professional experience, making this a rare and unique chance to access top quality training with the world-famous Lantern Company. The masterclass takes place at Central Library, Liverpool, on February 9 and 10, 10am-4.30pm. Places are limited at £160 each.
Information about all ticketed events can be viewed at https://www.ticketquarter.co.uk/Online/city-of-light.