Salford’s festival of light is back after being cancelled last year due to Covid-19.

Quays Culture has brought back its free event, Lightwaves, to MediaCityUK.

Credit: Katie Morgan

The annual light festival animating Salford Quays is lasting for 10 days, until December 12. Each night lighting up at 5pm until 10pm.

There are 12 new light installations at the 2021 event, one being ‘Floating Earth’.

Created by Luke Jerram, Floating Earth took a long time to create. Jerram said: “ [Floating Earth] weights about half a ton, with steel armatures, frame works, 8 tons of ballads put in the water with cranes. It has been quite the journey.”

Credit: Luke Jerram

Jerram has been making art for 25 years around the world. He said: “I like to make immersive art work, art that makes you feel small and gives you a sense of your own personal scale.”

Other installations include ‘Cygus’ by Loomaland and ‘Sirens’ by Davy and Kristen McGuire.

The artists behind ‘Sirens’, Davy and Kristen McGuire told me more about their creation: “We are projecting holographic and realistic mermaids into the water. The idea is that mermaids are coming onto land as their natural habit is getting ruined by pollution and by human activity in the water. There is a juxtaposition of something really beautiful and something quite dark [plastic bags amongst the mermaids].”

Loomaland are artists from Berlin, they have created ‘Cygus’ – a flock of 12 swans lit from the inside that navigate on top of the water and have a late-night dance. The artists said: “It is really rewarding to see the spectators’ reactions. The swans are quite eerie as they are very life like, I hope it makes people look twice.”

Also at the festival, will be vocal artist Jason Singh and digital expert Jack Hardiker.

Quays Culture immerses audiences into new and exciting public-realm exhibition with a focus on creativity, technology and digital innovation. Attracting local and international talent to Greater Manchester.

Credit: Quays Culture Press Release

Unfortunately, Floating Earth has been deflated as of Saturday 4th December due to extreme weather conditions. Quays Culture hope to reinflate the art work for the public to enjoy as soon as possible.

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