LightNight in Lockdown – Liverpool in hope. Liverpool lights up to celebrate its creative community during coronavirus crisis

Posted on 19 May 2020
By Khyle Deen
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The city of Liverpool lit up on Friday 15th May to celebrate the city’s artistic and creative community, on a night that would have seen Liverpool’s 11th LightNight festival.

The annual arts festival sees 100s of artists, producers, creatives, performers, writers and musicians exhibit work at free events in spaces across the city centre, all on one night. Each year, thousands take to the city’s streets to enjoy this incredible culture crawl.

To mark the evening, which instead saw the city streets empty during lockdown, artists and arts organisations came together online to share work and buildings lit up to celebrate Liverpool’s vibrant arts & culture scene. Liverpool’s two famous cathedrals, linked by Hope Street and often host to special LightNight events, were instead lit up by a projection of colours, symbolising hope, solidarity and community.

The projections were created in record time by Liverpool tech companies Adlib and Draw and Code, two of the city’s creative firms who are partners with many of its arts organisations and help keep the city’s art life flowing.

Online, using the hashtag #LightNightatHome, artists, organisations and creatives who would have participated in the festival instead shared their work on social media for the public to experience and join in online.

The theme of this year’s LightNight was ‘Home’, reflecting on the nature of home as a physical dwelling, a place of community, family, connection and value. Home is a place both on a map and in our minds.

Online highlights included:

— Barely Believable Bout of Beautiful Avoidance, a night of poetry and storytelling streamed live as part of the WOWFest Lockdown.

— Laura Kate Chapman’s Interlace which encouraged the public to make and draw, then share their home-made creations online which highlighted what home means to them.

— Tate Liverpool’s live bedtime stories read by the captivating Gav Cross.

— Amina Atiq presenting an adaptation of her touching one woman show Broken Biscuits, commissioned and supported by DaDaFest and Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.

— Write at Home, which encouraged the public to get creative with their writing and share it, a project by a Lovely Word in association with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse.

— Merseyswing got dressed up and taught everyone how to do the Charleston.

— Liverpool Philharmonic showcased some of their extensive archive performances from Irish Sea Sessions, Ian Prowse and their own Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra members.

— Convenience Gallery shared art by artists creating new works from home during the lockdown.

— LJMU FaceLab allowed audiences to send in photographs of members of their household, to have them ‘morphed’ into a single face.

— Constellations live streamed an after-party DJ and light installation getting everyone up and dancing at the end of the night