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Ipswich aglow with light art on the Waterfront

  • Date: 5 October 2011
  • Area: National, South East
waterfront lit with multi-coloured lights

Creatmosphere's Light Waves installation at Ipswich Waterfront. Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

Ipswich Waterfront has been brought to glowing life this month by Light Waves, a new, interactive lighting project.  

The project, a combination of light, sound and new digital technologies, has been created by French art collective Creatmosphere, a cross-genre artistic studio that focuses on the exploration of light and its interplay with art, architecture and space.

Creatmosphere is renowned for creating light art that puts the space and the public at the heart of the work. Light Waves aims to situate Ipswich's Jerwood DanceHouse at the centre of a new, vibrant and creative district by lighting-up the familiar space that spans from Stoke Bridge to The Mill.

Emanating from the DanceHouse and moving through four buildings, Light Waves draws on the latest digital technologies to shine a new light on the area  offering the public a chance to choreograph their own lighting show.

Light Waves was commissioned by Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council in partnership with DanceEast and is supported by an Arts Council England lottery-funded Grants for the arts award.

It is set to run for two years and will be visible to the public every night from dusk until midnight.

As Laurent Louyer, Creative Director at Creatmosphere said: 'As well as influencing the colour of the wave of light pulses, the public will also be able to affect the nature of a projected animation and its accompanying soundscape by interacting with the light. The longer the public interact with it, the more they evolve the experience!'

Cleverly placed tracking cameras record a pedestrian's movement and reflect it back with a combination of colourful light displays that create a magical interactivity.

Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Leisure portfolio holder for Ipswich Borough Council said: 'We are excited to be working with Creatmosphere on Light Waves and are grateful to Arts Council England for funding this project. We hope Light Waves will not only enhance visitors' experiences of the Waterfront but benefit local businesses while adding to the town's rapidly developing cultural scene.'

Low-energy LEDs are used throughout to create an effect of "Better light, less power", a motif that runs throughout Creatmosphere's projects.

Georgia Ward, Relationship Manager for Digital and Creative Economy, Arts Council England, said: 'Light Waves is yet another ambitious project from Creatmosphere that provides inspiration and delight to diverse audiences in Ipswich. Digital is a valued area which we support in a variety of ways. As well as funding a range of arts organisations, such as Creatmosphere, who focus on media arts and digital, we are also working in partnership with the BBC to build digital capacity across the arts sector. This in turn will enable excellent work like this to be shared as widely as possible.'