header

Renewing Longbridge with public light art

 

Longbridge, a town near Birmingham, UK that was formerly home to one of the largest car factories in Europe, inaugurated the first phase of its town centre lighting scheme this spring.

 

This is within the framework of the Longbridge Public Art Project (LPAP), a five-year contemporary art and place making project created to support the regeneration of the town.

Conceived and produced by WERK, the project brings together artists with the local community to explore the history of the area and revive it through public art that incorporates and enhances local identity.

cathywade_lightingscheme_2

The new scheme, designed by artist Cathy Wade working with St. Modwens (a specialised regeneration agency), combines lighting with planting to enhance the town centre.

Pedestrian areas and trees are lit at night, creating a dramatic and shifting environment. “The objective was to develop a spectrum of colours that will create a pathway for pedestrians and enhance flow through the site,” explains Cathy Wade.

cathywade_lightingscheme_3

Changeable lighting creates opportunities to mix colours and create vibrancy in spaces such as pedestrian pathways and stairs. The lighting can be reprogrammed for events and festivals.

The scheme also includes a light art sculpture called “Star Map” which pays tribute to the origins of the town by replicating the exact sky constellation at the seminal moment when Lord Austin, the initiator of the Longbridge Car Factory, arrived in Longbridge.

cathywade_lightingscheme_4

LPAP led to the creation of the Longbridge Light Festival in 2014 and will culminate in 2017 with over 11 site-specific public art installations that will enhance the built environment through the creation of landmarks, gateways, lighting and art.

 

Learn more about LPAP and the Longbridge Light Festival here

 

This article is from Cities & Lighting magazine. Click here to flip through Cities & Lighting n°4