Illuminating York lights up the night

The historic walled city is aglow with dazzling displays as the annual after-dark celebration of light kicks off

The annual Illuminating York festival gets underway and last's until October 29th. Musicians play at David Ogle's Lumin at York St John University.Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross
(Image credit: ACR)

Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of light festivals. They're now a familiar sight across the globe – and it's easy to see why. Cities are coming up with ever-more creative ways to transform everyday public spaces into captivating and immersive pieces of art through this versatile medium.

The streets of York have been aglow as its annual festival, Illuminating York, kicks off. A dazzling juxtaposition of the city's historic architecture integrated with this modern art form, the event comprises seven specially commissioned works in key locations, a quirky light trail and several fringe events to celebrate the occasion.

Jason Bruges Studio, the team behind lighting London's Shard on New Year's Eve in 2014, has reimagined the city's grand gothic cathedral with a spectacular installation that sees particles of white light seemingly suspended in mid-air. It's the only ticketed event (admission is £8), with tickets available from York Theatre Royal box office.

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Among the other sights not be missed is artist David Ogle's Lumen at the quad at York St John University. A fairytale-like forest of light, the playful exhibition enables visitors to walk among the trees and experience the unique shade cast by their branches. Meanwhile, Heinrich & Palmer have used a combination of projection, light drawings, film and sound for their piece in the heart of the National Railway Museum, where train engines are kept and restored.

Illuminating York is just one of a number of such events lighting up the north of England. Light Up Lancaster follows on its heels on 4 and 5 November, while Lightwaves 2016 will brighten up the dark, wintry evenings at Manchester's Salford Quays from 9 to 18 December.

Illuminating York takes place at locations across the city from 6 to 10pm until 29 October;

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