Liverpool Light Night 2015: LOOK/15, The Cunard Building and Samba Dancing / by Andrew Wilson

Friday the 15th of May was the date for Liverpool Light Night 2015 which coincided with the opening of the LOOK/15 Photography Festival. Here are a few photos from that evening.

Firstly I made my way over to the Women in the City exhibition, which is on Thomas Steers Way, a path that runs from John Lewis in Liverpool ONE towards the Albert Docks. As some of you who follow me on Facebook may know I entered this photo below of my girlfriend, titled Han at Home, into this exhibition so I was keen to see if it had been selected.


Han at Home


I wasn't sure exactly where the work was going to be, so I was surprised to see a row of triangular boards set up along this stretch. Pretty quickly I found my photo so I was pretty happy with that!


After seeing this work I went to the Open Eye Gallery to check out their exhibition. I didn't take any photos there but I wanted to mention it as there is some good work on there at the moment that I would recommend seeing, in particular a powerful series of photos titled Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross.

I decided to go to the Cunard Building afterwards as I had never been inside and I was intrigued to see 'Solotoria' as I had seen a photo that I found interesting, but remained mysterious as I wasn't sure exactly what it was.

Video projection front.

Coinciding with Light Night and LOOK/15 is the celebration of the Cunard's 175th birthday which will see the three Queen ships arriving, so inside the Cunard was artwork relating to the ships and travel to New York. 

I really like the interior of a number of old buildings I have been inside in the Riverside area of Liverpool, and this now includes the grand interior of the Cunard. It feels like taking a step back in time.


Video projection back.


Solotoria's booths.

Solotoria (click here for their Website, Facebook page and Twitter) put on small shows in more than one way. They were set up opposite the boat projection with two booths; one a ballet performance, the other Shakespeare. I sat on a stool facing in on a small cardboard theatre set which had quite a lot of detail and functioning lights. The booth also had a small camera which took photos of each person who experienced the show, which were then posted to Facebook and Twitter. You didn't know when the photo would be taken so it's quite fun looking at various reactions. I happened to look right at the camera as the photo was taken. Mine is below!

A pair of headphones provided sounds of muttering, coughing and even an audience member's phone going off to provide that authentic pre-show ambience. I wasn't sure what to expect, but as the lights went down and the curtain raised I was treated to a few small dances inventively performed with scissors representing ballet dancers. One pair of scissors wore a tutu, the other did not, so I assumed one was female and the other was male. It was interesting how in a short space of time you could project this idea of a male and female dancer on to a pair of scissors. Once it finished the lights came back on and the audience applauded. Bravo!

Something else I thought might be fun to check out and photograph was a samba performance at the Exchange Flags. I sometimes like to wander through the Exchange Flags courtyard as I like the set up and feel of the space. When I arrived there was already a fair bit of a crowd so to get a decent view I climbed up on a statue in the middle of the space.  

The performance kicked off at 7.30pm and the musicians drummed a hearty and up-tempo beat and the dancers gave it their all for a solid half-hour. I was impressed! 

Lately I've been having a go at trying to capture motion by using some slower shutter speeds so I decided to give it a go here. I figured I would get an interesting contrast between the still crowds and the dancers moving around.


So that was what I saw at Light Night. There was plenty more going on in various other places during the evening that it would be difficult to see it all. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing more of LOOK/15 which runs until the 31st of May. To find out more about LOOK follow this link


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