Illuminating Oxford: Be The Light, 2020
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Oxford Light Festival was a little different to previous years. Events involving people gathering in-person couldn't be held and instead everyone was encouraged to create their own Light Festival on their doorstep. Likewise, due to Covid regulations, 2020 the son et lumiere projections were pre-recorded before the festival (18th November) premiering online for the public to watch during the festival weekend.
Displays were projected onto four iconic Oxford buildings: Christchurch College Meadow Building, the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Radcliffe Camera and the Museum of Natural History. The displays built on the success of previous years, collaborating with venue partners to highlight fascinating and lesser-known aspects of their collections. We also worked with local communities, community groups and artists to devise phrases and words that reflected the hopeful and thankful spirit of the 2020 Oxford Light Festival and its 'Be the Light' theme.
Although this year was somewhat a pause from the traditional light spectacles, 2020 showed that it is still possible to deliver creative, inspiring work that demonstrates the commitment and resilience of culture and community. Click here, here, here, here and here to watch the installations.
Starting in 2015, each year as part of Oxford’s Light Festival, Fusion Arts works with artist collective Luxmuralis alongside an ever-increasing consortium of institutional partners (now Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Pitt Rivers Museum, the Bodleian Libraries / Radcliffe Camera, University Church of St Mary the Virgin and the Museum, the History of Science Museum) and numerous community groups (including Multaka-Oxford, Oxford’s Windrush communities and LGBTQ+ groups) to produce a series of inspiring son et lumière displays; light and sound spectacles that illuminate the outside of some of Oxford's most iconic buildings and bring community stories and the partner institutions' collections to life. These shows are free and accessible to all.
The project seeks to literally illuminate the museums’ collections and archives for the public to admire, bringing hidden collections into the public domain in the form of colourful light designs projected onto the museum's facades. In preparation for the events, Luxmuralis has worked closely with Multaka-Oxford to identify what parts of the hidden collections to choose and determine which were of greatest significance to them. The objects chosen were brought to life through the light show, prompting the viewers to consider the modern and historical research concerns they raise.
Other works by Luxmuralis include: Poppy Field which toured Cathedrals around the UK; Lichtfestival in Limburg Germany; Earth What a Wonderful World, Lichfield Cathedral; The Maker of Middle Earth, Bodleian Libraries. Their portfolio, which includes a plethora of other light and sound events across the UK and abroad can be found here.