Liverpool to host spectacular ‘River of Light Trail’

For two weeks from later this month the ‘River of Light Trail’ through Liverpool City centre will showcase the work of local, national and international artists. Tony McDonough reports

River of Light Trail
The River of Light Trail in Liverpool will last for two weeks


Liverpool city centre will host a spectacular ‘River of Light Trail’ for two weeks from later this month in a project that will showcase the work of local, national and international artists.

Bringing together 11 stunning audio and visual installations, the 2km walking loop trail, running from Tuesday, March 23, to Monday, April 5, will open hours after a special online event reflecting on the impact a year of lockdown has had on the city and its communities. The first artworks being announced are:

  • Rainbow Bridge – A 30.5-metre-long, nine-metre-high rainbow will be showcased for the first time outside of the US. Made up of more than 25,000 programmable LEDs which will convey special visuals and messaging, it is presented in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and will be located in Canning Dock Quayside, next to the Royal Liverpool Albert Dock.
  • All in the Balance – Located outside the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Building at the Royal Liverpool Albert Dock, Liverpool’s own The Lantern Company will create an illuminated kinetic artwork of a gigantic butterfly mobile surrounded by wild grasses and flowers. It’s a celebration of nature and the arrival of spring.
  • Light A Wish – 20 illuminated, two-metre-high dandelions will float over the canal on the Pier Head as a symbol of the desires and dreams we wish for. As part of this, an engagement programme co-ordinated by The Guide Liverpool will ask people to share their wishes for the future.
  • Neighborhood – Castle Street will become a temporary home to a washing line, on which hangs illuminated laundry. The clothing represents communities from across the city and celebrates people of different backgrounds living together harmoniously. Open Eye Gallery will run a photography project alongside this which will engage participants in response to the artwork to form part of an online exhibition.

Details of all the artworks, which can be viewed from 6pm-10.30pm each evening, can be found by clicking here.

The River of Light Trail is being delivered by Culture Liverpool with support from Arts Council England, FESTIVAL.ORG, Global Streets, National Museums Liverpool, Liverpool BID Company, Liverpool ONE and Royal Albert Dock.

The team delivering the trail has been working closely with Public Health Liverpool and members of the Safety Advisory Group, to ensure it is as COVID-safe as possible. It has been designed with safety and distancing in mind – the 2km trail and distance between each artwork ensures social distancing can be observed.

Director of National Museums Liverpool, Laura Pye, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Culture Liverpool in bringing Rainbow Bridge to Liverpool’s waterfront as part of the River of Light Trail.

“I think we all need a bit of hope and light in our lives at the moment, and the waterfront is offering the perfect opportunity for local residents to escape the current situation; outdoors, with fresh air, plenty of space and a huge, beautiful rainbow of hope.”

Follow @visitliverpool (Twitter and Facebook) or @visitliverpool_ (Instagram). #riveroflight #outdoorgallery.

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