A spectacle of light and sound launches at Tewkesbury Abbey
By David Wood
Incredible immersive light and sound show, the Tewkesbury Festival of Lights, launched last night (Tuesday) at Tewkesbury Abbey with hundreds of visitors in attendance.
The Tewkesbury Festival of Lights features light projections and an original soundscape and tells the unique history of the town, the 900-year history of Tewkesbury Abbey and the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Tewkesbury.
It will be available to view in 20-minute intervals between 6pm - 10pm until Friday 5th November.
This Festival of Lights is the first major light show in the town since the Son et Lumiere in 1971 and attendees of all ages are welcome to the experience.
Visitors are invited to walk around the majestic space inside of the Abbey and explore the light and sound show, created by the award-winning artistic collaboration, Luxmuralis: artist, Peter Walker and composer, David Harper and organised by 2021 Tewkesbury Together.
2021 has been a significant year for Tewkesbury as it marks the 900th year anniversary of the consecration of its world-famous Abbey by the Bishop of Worcester in 1121, and the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Tewkesbury, which was a pivotal battle in the War of the Roses.
The Festival of Lights takes visitors on a journey through the history of the town, touching on key moments of Tewkesbury's past through striking audio and visual displays.
The Festival of Lights also features hundreds of handmade glowing willow lanterns created by local schoolchildren, displayed in the grounds of the Abbey.
The lantern-making workshops, held over the past few months, were created to engage schools and their families with the upcoming Tewkesbury Festival of Lights - with artist Peter Walker offering advice on the designs of the lanterns themselves.
Rev Canon Paul Williams from Tewkesbury Abbey said: "The Abbey is a fantastic building renowned for its beauty and majesty but equally for its warmth of welcome and celebrating the local community.
"Associated with events that have shaped our national life, it equally hosts life events that give meaning and hope to the people of Tewkesbury.
"Generation after generation have called Tewkesbury Abbey 'home' and for 900 years has been a beacon in battle, flood and pandemic. As we emerge from the darkness of COVID 19, the solidity and faithfulness of the Abbey will once again provide a sanctuary where people can connect with their souls.
"Working with Peter Walker and the Luxmuralis team has been a wonderful experience. We hope that Tewkesbury's Festival of Lights will be a light to lighten our darkness and will give us all an opportunity to celebrate the past, which gives meaning to the present and hope for the future. On we go to 900+."
Luxmuralist artist Peter Walker said: "It is such a remarkable 900-year history at Tewkesbury; Luxmuralis (which means light murals) are honoured to be interpreting this to a modern day audience.
"The sound and light show has been created to take viewers on a journey through time, using historic imagery, art historical paintings and archive photography used to create a beautiful fine art interpretation for people to enjoy.
"The Abbey is painted with light, the architecture highlighted in a new and vibrant way and viewers will be immersed in the light and sound that fills the majestic sacred space.
"All the artwork has been set to bespoke music produced by Luxmuralis composer David Harper. The artwork you will see at the Festival of Lights is bespoke, modern and unique to Tewkesbury, and we want people to feel like they are living through these moments we have created. Fine art is accessible and connects all ages and is for all people."
The Festival of Lights has been organised by 2021 Tewkesbury Together, a community-led committee leading the organisation of celebrations of the anniversaries in the town.
Due to COVID-19, 2021 Tewkesbury Together has focused celebrations around the anniversary of the consecration of the Abbey in October 2021.
Tickets to the Tewkesbury Festival of Lights are priced at £10.50 for adults, £8.50 for children aged 3 - 17, under 3s go free, and will be available to book for 20-minute entry segments from 6 - 10pm each evening between the 2nd and 5th of November.
Tickets are available from: www.tewkesburyfestivaloflights.co.uk or can be booked by calling The Roses Theatre Box Office on: 01684 295074.
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