FELIX ROWBERRY – In the Balance
In the Balance is a new, specially commissioned large-scale kinetic fire sculpture, co-devised by Somerset-based artist, fabricator and pyrotechnician Felix Rowberry, that talks about climate change and the weight of responsibility thrust onto the younger generations.
Designed as a child’s giant mobile with 8 spectacular rotating, fire-filled orbs looming like burning planets, the name of the installation not only refers to the spheres being held ‘In the Balance’, but also the undecided futures faced by those younger generations, growing up into a climate crisis in a vulnerable coastal town.
Working with young people from South Weston Activities Network (SWAN) and Weston’s South Ward, In the Balance incorporates individual hand plasma-cut designs created by workshop participants, led by Kally Critchley, Youth Participation Worker, and Poppy Lakner, Community Youth Leader. An accompanying soundtrack exploring environmental themes, devised by Weston-based poet and youth worker Sophie Shepherd and sound artist Jordan Cottle in collaboration with young people from Boombox and Off the Record (OTR), features the voices of young people and community members in Weston-super-Mare.
In the Balance is co-commissioned by award-winning Walk The Plank, UK’s leading makers and creators of outdoor arts, theatre and spectacle in the public realm, and Billie Klinger (Creative Producer). The sculpture will also feature as part of Walk The Plank’s Fire Garden touring exhibition. Read more about Walk the Plank here.
Iona Scott – DEEP SEA DISCOSPHAERA and PLANKTON
Brighton-based multimedia artist, Iona Scott’s environmentally-themed light installation invites people to walk amongst a microscopic world and get up close to phytoplankton – single-celled marine microplants invisible to the human eye and yet responsible for producing around 50% of the oxygen on our planet!
Featuring the signature geometric form of a one-million-times-magnified cell, the 6ft ‘Discosphaera’ is a colour-changing light sculpture linked to a virtual representation of the hidden realm the marine phytoplankton inhabit.
The visual and sensory experience takes people on a mesmerising journey and across a threshold from the natural surroundings of Grove Park into the submarine world, raising important awareness of these incredible, tiny lifeforms along the way.
Air Giants – SQUEEZE ME
We all love to hug a tree! Now visitors to GLOW at Grove Park can also squeeze a robot in a spectacular, playful experience of light, sound and soft robotics, set amongst the foliage.
In Squeeze Me, five robots – part fungus, part creature – are suspended from trees and activated through touch, hugs and squeezes! As audiences interact with these extraordinary creatures, the robots become animated responding with synchronised lighting, sound and movement, curling overhead in the tree’s canopy.
Alexis Richter – DANCING FOUNTAIN
A mesmerising, critically-acclaimed live water show and sensory experience conceived and crafted by kinetic artist, Alexis Richter, to bring joy and wonderment to audiences of all ages. Discover the epitome of water artistry as this liquid ballet takes centre stage and watch in awe as the Dancing Fountain magically self-choreographs to the rhythms and emotions of music.
Paula Birtwistle and PYTCH – WOODWIDE WEB
The power of plants to communicate is celebrated in a unique, hands-on installation that explores the new discoveries about the mycelial network of fungi beneath our feet and the way in which our eco system connects.
A series of tree stump hubs carrying ceramic handprints from workshop participants and featuring sensors activated by touch, will be nestled into the habitat of Grove Park. People of all ages are invited to place their hands on one of the tactile, three dimensional shapes to illuminate a series of fine lines of light connecting the stumps to real trees. Each different combination of hands touching the installation, will result in a myriad of light and sound responses creating an ever-changing network of human connections that resonates with the natural environment.
Woodwide Web is a collaborative artwork created by Paula Birtwistle and PYTCH, featuring work by Weston College Year 3 ceramics students.
Paula Birtwistle – DISCO
DISCO playfully juxtaposes different musical cultures with a series of disco balls that will illuminate the historic bandstand in Grove Park. Set to a 70s disco party soundtrack, this outdoor venue guarantees to get the whole family grooving and strutting their shimmering stuff.
Paula Birtwistle – PLAYGROUND SWINGS
Taking a traditional playground favourite and re-imagining it, Playground Swings returns with extra wide swings suspended from trees in Grove Park that light up the sky in motion. A GLOW favourite, guaranteed to be a swinging success!
Paula Birtwistle – SANDPIT
A glowing sandpit and sensory delight joins the playground theme. Dig into a sandpit that glows from within and changes colour as you sketch patterns with your fingers or build sandcastles from reclaimed beach toys.
Paula Birtwistle – SEAGULL
Illuminated, interactive gull mobile, Seagull, is a hand carved, large-scale toy ornithopter that flaps gently when pulled. Rippling with rainbow colours, he is the constant sight and sound of seaside towns. Stand under ‘him’ for too long and you might be surprised!
Paula Birtwistle – SHADOWPLAY
See your shadow cast in an array of rainbow coloured silhouettes in this light installation that uses spotlights and colour mixing to create an interactive display that entices you to play.
Bev G Star – UV Garden
Jill Dando’s Garden in Grove Park will once again be transformed by a new stunning light installation, co-created by Weston-based visual artist Bev G Star and service users from Sefton Park Rehab. At the Ideas Lab, together they will explore the creative possibilities and re-imagining of spaces in Grove Park through illumination, to present a vibrant, multi-coloured artwork inspired by the natural surroundings.
PLUS a feast for the eyes including Laser Sky installation; a PRIDE Rainbow of Flags; From the Mud pop up theatre performance; luminous, nature-themed knitting display; sky tracker lights; projections; soundscapes and more.
Dylan Barker – ROSIE: FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF A MOOING KIND
Rosie is a life-sized, neon-lit cow. Crafted by the young people of Bournville, this glowing tribute is a testament to the enchantment of first encounters with a gentle giant at Windmill Hill City Farm.
Capturing the essence of that awe-inspiring moment when young people first locked eyes with a living, breathing cow, “Rosie” brings that innocence and wonder to life. The vibrant neon hues pulsating through the sculpture mimic the electrifying energy of that initial connection.
Helen Wheelock – LIGHTOPIA
Lightopia is back by popular demand! Marvel at the transformation of the humble lampshade as the vibrant display of decorated vintage shades and tassels returns in all its glow-in-the-dark glory to brighten up Grove Park for the second year running.
Helen Wheelock – MAGICAL MUSHROOMS
Wonder at this mushroom garden crocheted by local residents.
Nina Thomas Bennett – STARRY STARRY BIKES
Nina, urban forager, has worked with local community groups to create chandeliers from abandoned household items. Giving a second, brilliant life to discarded treasures.
Friends of Grove Park – BUG HOTEL
A Bug Hotel area with audio descriptions of the transformative history of the Friends of Grove Park.
Karen Barry – PEACE SHRINE
Community members from all over Weston have come together to make this artwork of over 200 individually decorated glass jars in a collective clarion call for peace.
Zara Emily – FLAGS
Food and drink will be available to to purchase in Grove Park from a range of local traders.
GLOW AROUND TOWN
The Italian Gardens
Illumaphonium – CONTINUUM
Continuum is a stunning installation from Somerset-based Illumaphonium that invites people of all ages to come together to play, create and explore. The awe inspiring, immersive and fully accessible artwork features 25 mirrored and luminescent sonic monoliths. Each standing at over 2.5m tall and laid out in a geometric matrix to create a mirrored maze of infinite reflections, they open a mysterious and magical space within and around the audience.
Every monolith has a column of light that responds to people’s presence sending ripples of light between the towers and creating an ever evolving soundscape that will fill the iconic setting of the Italian Gardens.
Thomas Bennoy, Deborah Paige and Harry Bassett – EVERY DROP
Sponsored by Bristol Water
Every Drop’ is an installation about the importance of water as the life blood of our planet. It links key messages from Bristol Water’s Every Drip Every Drop water saving campaign to NHS workers’ experience of water being critical to life. The fountain water jets in the Italian Gardens will transform into ever-changing, mesmeric abstract images, inspired by a SW!M 75 soundscape that was created for the 2023 Weston Arts + Health Weekender to celebrate 75 years of the NHS. The artwork features fresh audio of the voices of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston staff reflecting upon the role of water in their lives at home and work.
SW!M 75 is a co-production between Super Culture and Diverse City. The audio is produced by Deborah Paige with sound and original music by Harry Bassett.
Video content created by visual artist Thomas Bennoy.
Paula Birtwistle – GLOW Village Mirror Ball Walk
A shimmering mirror ball light display will magically guide you from Grove Village to Grove Park getting everyone in the festival mood, whilst Chila Kumari Singh Burman’s illuminated ‘Pigeon’ will make its nest close to the action in Grove Village.
The Grand Pier
Gavin Morris – DIGITAL FUNFAIR
Come along to Weston’s Royal Grand Pier and share the love in this joyful light installation with a big heart!
As part of the Digital Funfair created by Taunton-based Gavin Morris, Light Hearted is a giant LED heart that only lights up when connected by people holding hands across two metal barriers – one person isn’t enough to bridge the gap, it takes two or more to make the magic happen…
Guaranteed to make you glow with warmth and happiness, Light Hearted provides the perfect setting for those sunset selfies, pictured against the iconic backdrop of the Pier. Or make your heart skip a beat this Valentine’s and capture a larger than life, light fantastic, romantic moment!
The Digital Funfair is one of the most original and imaginative interactive shows in the country, providing a truly memorable audience led experience. Featuring an evolving and growing collection of games, it encourages collaborative play, fun and entertainment, combining new and old technology, dance music, popular culture and stuff found lying around in the street.
Simon Birtwistle and Paula Birtwistle – I HEART WSM
A playful nod to the iconic I Love New York design by Milton Glaser. Perfect for a selfie.
Digital Funfair – HEXAGONS
Another interactive game in the Digital Funfair, this graphic-style illuminated wall will light up the area with colour and lots of immersive fun.
Princess Royal Square
Aether Projects – LINEAR
Linear is a new light installation based on the double helix structure found in DNA that will line the pathways at Princess Royal Square in glorious colour. The artwork, by Bristol based emerging creative technologists, Aether Projects, builds on their projection mapping, lighting installation and AV show work which has been presented at a multitude of music festivals, including We Out Here, Parklife, Kendal Calling and Boomtown.
Digital Funfair – LED CURTAIN
This interactive light installation invites you to get creative with technology. Use its keyboard to express yourself in a big way and watch as your message magically appears on its 8 metre wide screen.
GLOW is conceived and designed by Weston-based artist and producer Paula Birtwistle and presented in partnership by Super Culture, Weston-super-Mare Town Council, The Grand Pier and local creative organisation PYTCH.
The event is made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England and Weston-super-Mare town council.