Lightwaves 2017 at Salford Quays

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The web of light by the water

Lightwaves has become a regular at Salford Quays in the run up to Christmas and is as much part of our Christmas preparations as writing cards and remembering where we have stored the lights.  Over the years we have had huge white rabbits, Dr Who and tiny boats bobbing on the quay.  As has become traditional, we walked down to Salford Quays on the opening night and joined the throng on a bitterly cold but fine night to see the art works for the first time.

The 100 photograph light boxes with images from across Greater Manchester came first.  I had expected these to be landscapes and was surprised how many were portraits, some showing real Mancunian character but I had looked forward to having to guess the views and would have enjoyed more scenes from the ten boroughs.  After reminiscing about the Sooty Show, always a favourite in our house, we found the breathing tent and sat practicing our deep tai chi breathing, watching the lights climb up and down the side of the tent as we inhaled, filling our lower dan tien and fully exhaling.  We walked beneath the grid of rope by the quayside watching the lights change colour from bright green to yellow.  This light responds to a microphone that is in the river, translating the sound in to light

In front of the Lowry are Jackie Kay’s neon words, ‘I forgot to say.’  This is supposed to get you thinking and anyone can call the number and leave a message about what they have forgotten to say … but ringing slipped my mind.

For the last couple of years Lightwaves have co-operated with Blackpool illuminations and we have had some of their spare installations.  I like the combination of the technical and artistic light structures and the brash lights of Blackpool.  This year as well as Sooty Show images we had the pirates below and some nostalgic Star Trek images.

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Pirates of Salford Quays