Find out more below about the installations that are part of GLOW 2023, coming to the town from 15 – 18 February.
1. Chila Kumari Singh Burman – The Grand Pier
A vibrant new commission from internationally acclaimed artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman celebrates the humble pigeon. The neon artwork shines an iridescent spotlight on the virtues of this commonly maligned yet extraordinary global street bird. Find out more here.
‘Pigeon’ will be on display at The Grand Pier during GLOW, before coming home to nest in Weston’s town centre.
Describing herself as a ‘Punjabi Liverpudlian’, Chila’s vivacious style fuses her Indian roots with popular culture, exemplified in her groundbreaking ‘Remembering a Brave New World’, which lit up hearts, minds and the facade of TATE BRITAIN at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
We are delighted to have two artworks from ‘Remembering a Brave New World’ as part of the Grand Pier exhibit:
‘Laxmi’ is a tribute to the Goddess of Diwali and a celebration of the spirit of resilience and hope.
WITHOUT US THERE IS NO BRITAIN
‘Without us there is no Britain’, depicts a figure with a raised fist, inspired by the issue one cover of Mukti, a feminist magazine by and for Asian women. Like much of Chila’s work, this gives political voice to those whose stories may be overlooked.
2. I HEART WSM – Simon & Paula Birtwistle – The Grand Pier
A playful nod to the iconic I Love New York design by Milton Glaser. Perfect for a selfie.
3. MYSTERY BIRD – Helen Musselwhite & Illuminos – Princess Royal Square (opposite Grand Pier)
MYSTERY BIRD is a collaborative artwork featuring birds as symbols of hope, freedom and the positive, life-affirming force of nature, created in response to the social restrictions people experienced through the pandemic. The modern-day carnival float consisting of an illuminated bird cage, a magical soundscape and projection, holds universal appeal and provides a unique, special and unexpected experience.
4 LASERTONIC – Flora Litchfield – – Dolphin Square
LASERTONIC is an artwork by Laserist and Visual Artist, Flora Litchfield, exploring how space can be shifted through light and sound and the crossover between art, technology and landscape. With a focus on colour therapy and geometry within nature, the work centres around human experience, wellbeing and the role colour and sound play in affecting mood and emotions.
5. SUPER WONDER SHRINE – Morag Myerscough – High Street
Illuminated specially for GLOW. SUPER WONDER SHRINE is a bespoke commission for Weston-super-Mare by internationally acclaimed public realm artist Morag Myerscough, created in partnership with the local community. Over 100 people of all ages supported the design and fabrication of the installation.
7. NEST – Walliscote Primary School and Megan Clark-Bagnall – Weston Artspace
Local students from Walliscote Primary School took inspiration from ‘Pigeon’ to create their own illuminated nests filled with ideas and dreams that they hope will take flight in the future. ‘Nest’ will be on display in the window of Weston Artspace on the High Street throughout GLOW.
‘Pigeon’ has been enabled by 21st Century super Shrines, a programme managed by Culture Weston as part of the four-year long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, funded by Historic England in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund
8. Lighthouse Garden – Weston-super-Mare Train Station
Lighthouse Garden is a new Horticultural Artwork located on the forecourt of Weston-super-Mare train station that welcomes visitors to town with its vibrant greenery and nature-inspired artwork that glows at night.
Drawing inspiration from the coastal landscape of Weston-super-Mare, the artwork looks out to sea to Flat Holm Island’s lighthouse.
Featuring a solar-powered lighting system and planters filled with seasonal plants and herbs, Lighthouse Garden provides a sensory place for passengers to meet or to pause awhile before alighting their train.
6. Grove Park light installations
Illumaphonium – HALO
HALO is a series of interconnected, interactive columns featuring illuminated ‘halos’ that, when touched, light up and play bespoke music and birdsong. HALO invites the public to experience this playful, inclusive and immersive space and discover the joy of spontaneous music making in this inspiring artwork of light and sound. HALO is created by Somerset-based artists ‘illumaphonium’, renowned for their large-scale and interactive, public installations.
Felix Rowberry – FIRE GARDEN
FIRE GARDEN is a large scale, sculpture co-created by Somerset based artist, fabricator and pyrotechnician Felix Rowberry, who has devised metalwork and special effects for shows like Doctor Who, Top Gear and X-Factor. Felix has worked with Arcadia and on pyrotechnic displays across the country. For GLOW, she is working with young people from South Weston Activities Network to present FIRE GARDEN, a new fire sculpture for the event.
Paula Birtwistle – SWING playground
SWING takes a traditional playground favourite and re-imagines it in a different context. This artwork, piloted at GLOW in 2022, returns by popular demand. Suspended from a series of trees in Grove Park, the extra wide swings light up the sky in motion. This year, a new glowing sand pit joins the playground theme, where patterns can be made in the sand to reveal a glowing centre.
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.
Alison Smith – THE NECTARY
THE NECTARY is an interactive, multi-sensory light and sound installation comprised of six giant, suspended and illuminated flower heads, hand crafted from recycled plastic packaging. The unique artwork invites visitors to immerse themselves in nature and hear a soundscape of bees and other pollinators – “the hum of the earth” – as they mimic a pollinating insect, by standing inside each flower head and moving from flower to flower. Created by Leeds based artist Alison Smith and Dr. Chris Hassall, lecturer in Animal Biology at the University of Leeds, The Nectary raises understanding of the delicate ecosystems of which we are a part. The installation was developed with funding from Light Night Leeds, the University of Leeds and From the Fields.
Every Drip Every Drop
On entering the festival site and circular route around Grove Park, visitors to GLOW will immediately see a lit-up pond and fountain transformed by a moving wave of multi-coloured light. Framed by a series of vibrating, vertical lights around the pond, the water will dynamically ripple and shift in the projected light beams. An accompanying water inspired soundscape has been created for the installation by artist Flora Litchfield whose work specialises in light, sound and nature.
Sponsored by Bristol Water, the installation shines a light on the company’s water saving campaign, every-drip-every-drop and invites visitors to think about the environment and how they can play their part in water conservation.
Bev G Star – ENTWINED
ENTWINED is a new artwork being co-created by Weston-based visual artist Bev G Star and service users from We Are With You that will be located in Jill Dando’s Garden. The multi-layered piece using photo-luminescent materials, will unfold throughout the day-night cycle with variations in colour and illumination, inspired by the natural surroundings. Bev, who also hosts the Humans of Weston podcast and radio show, aims to encourage people to tap into their imaginations by providing the inspiration and tools to empower their own sense of creative curiosity.
Jasmine Thompson – FUTURE PLAYGROUND
FUTURE PLAYGROUND is a new animated projection artwork being created by Bristol-based illustrator and designer Jasmine Thompson working with young people from the YMCA Youth Service. Jasmine uses illustration to capture stories of people and places in an inclusive and collaborative way. Future Playground explores and shares the hopes and experiences of living in Weston in a fun and interactive artwork, reflecting young people from across the town and how they wish to express themselves to make a statement about who they are.
Sophie Shepherd – SPEAK FOR THE TREES
SPEAK FOR THE TREES is a new, audio installation exploring climate change devised by Weston-based writer, poet, performer and youth worker Sophie Shepherd in collaboration with young people from Boombox and Off the Record (OTR). Through a series of workshops led by Sophie, the project engages a diverse youth group to explore spoken word and poetry with an environmental theme. This will culminate in a co-created work that will be recorded as a sound installation at GLOW capturing the thoughts, views and concerns about climate change of a younger generation for all to hear.
Dylan Barker – Young Peoples Community Art Project
Dylan Barker is a Weston based artist and youth worker. He is working with young people on South Ward, where he lives, to create a light installation responding to their feeling about GLOW, nature and the environment.
TREE TOP CHALLENGE
Groups and families can keep warm by jumping up and down on the interactive dance floor stomp pads, in a race to light up to the top of their coloured tree – an energetic experience that combines fun with exercise.
Simon and Paula Birtwistle – SEEGULL
Light up, interactive gull mobile, Seegull, is a large-scale toy ornithopter that flaps gently when pulled. Rippling with rainbow colours he is the constant sight and sound of seaside towns.
Friends of Grove Park – BUG HOTEL
A Bug Hotel area with audio descriptions of the transformative history of the Friends of Grove Park
PLUS a feast for the eyes including Laser Sky installation, a PRIDE Rainbow of trees, Flag Avenue, Lantern trail by members of South Ward community, From The Mud ‘Lorax’ pop up theatre performance, musical xylophone trees, sky tracker lights and more.
Food and drink will be available to purchase at Sprout café, while the Culture Weston bar will serve up warming, mulled wine and cider.