Delivered in partnership with arts collective Squidsoup, Where There Is Light is an immersive sound and light installation sharing the voices and stories of sanctuary seeking communities from across the country, which travelled across the UK in 2021 to bring people together and encourage a sense of connection and hope.
Thanks to the involvement of artist Sameena Khan, Audio Producer Dimple Patel, Music Works and Composer Julian Bayliss, this artwork provides a truly poignant sensory experience exploring themes of light.
Since the pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, we hope to start to rebuild, reconnect and transform how communities connect in a time of isolation and loneliness.
With funding from Arts Council England and partnerships with Freedom Festival, Coventry City of Culture, Halton Borough of Culture, Journeys Festival International and Timber Festival, Where There is Light offers a beautiful moment, a break in people’s day-to-day lives with a space to look outside of themselves.
The artwork was touring across the UK in 2021, with partnerships with organisations like Hull’s Freedom Festival and Coventry City of Culture offering excellent opportunities for the work to reach and uplift new audiences.
ArtReach · Voice 1 – Grandchildren
Hull’s Freedom Festival is born from the city’s association with the abolitionist movement, themes of empowerment, activism and the potential of community, while Coventry City of Culture represents a momentous occasion in the cultural calendar celebrating the city’s culture and communities in 2021. Indeed, 2021 also marked the first year Halton hosted the Borough of Culture in an effort to increase participation in high-quality arts activity, helping more people to benefit from the vital role culture can play in improving health and wellbeing, uniting communities, inspiring creativity and supporting learning.
Where There is Light also toured to Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth as part of Journeys Festival International.
This was particularly exciting for us as we’ve worked in partnership with Squidsoup to develop and lead the outreach activity for the work. Together with Sameena Khan, a Leicester-based practitioner trained in play therapy, we worked with community groups and charities in Leicester, Coventry, Hull and Portsmouth to connect with sanctuary seekers from all four cities and explore the theme of light.
ArtReach · Voice 2 – Future
Leicester’s creative workshops were led by Alexandros Plasatis, a local writer and ethnographer, while writer and artist Laura Nyahuye conducted sessions with the Coventry group. Practitioner and filmmaker Peter Snelling furthermore offered workshops in Hull and in Portsmouth, with textile artist Maria Tarn delivering textile workshops.
This in-depth work enriched the final narratives in the installation as the soundscape shares voices from residents in Leicester and Portsmouth, which were captured by Audio Producer Dimple Patel, who also edited the conversations with participants about the theme of light, before a bespoke soundscape was created by Music Works and composer Julian Bayliss.
For arts collective Squidsoup, who use digital technologies to create immersive experiences in their practise, this project further allowed them to expand their experience of delivering community-led projects and working with local community groups and artists.
Audiences in Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth were able to enjoy the uplifting immersive experience as part of Journeys Festival International between 15 and 24 October 2022.
ArtReach · Voice 3 – Children