Festival will light up Lewes landmarks


A brand new type of festival is coming to Lewes this weekend to celebrate, showcase and discuss the latest in public and artistic lighting design.

Lewes is home to some of the UK’s leading lighting designers and artists – and they have come together to put on a new festival called LewesLight.

Based in the Linklater Pavilion within the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve, it will also involve one-off illumination of buildings and spaces across the whole of the town.

Lewes lighting designer and consultant Graham Festenstein said: “LewesLight is the first festival of its kind in Lewes but hopefully not the last. We hope to showcase what is possible and then to develop the event as an annual Festival of Light promoting the town, its history, beautiful architecture and creativity.”

The festival includes an exhibition, talks and discussion at Linklater Pavilion, which will cover issues related to light within science, astronomy, sustainability and health.

To mark Lewes’s unique location within the South Downs National Park, there will also be discussions about the impact of lighting within such a sensitive area.

The most visible manifestation of the festival will be some the remarkable, site-specific lighting of 20 buildings and public spaces in the town, as well as an installation by projection artist Alex May.

All the installations will be designed by professional lighting designers, all with Lewes connections.

The full list of 20 locations is being kept a closely guarded secret, but organisers have confirmed they include the Castle, Harveys and, perhaps most intriguingly, the waters of the Pells Pool.

The festival will have a direct educational benefit, involving school students in science and design discussions. Students from Sussex Downs College will help organise and design some of the events, including a projection installation. The event is supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals, The International Association of Lighting Designers and the Society of Light and Lighting.

Ticketed evening tours are taking place from 7pm on Friday and Saturday evening, and self-guided tours can also be undertaken around the sites.

Harveys are supplying beer to be served at the end of the tours, in the grounds of the Pells Pool.

The festival will be supporting some guerilla lighting projects, in which members of the public can also participate.

LewesLight has international recognition as part of the UNESCO International Year of Light event.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the website at www.leweslight.uk.

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