Light ballet to transform River Shannon skies next month

Areas along the River Shannon in Westmeath and Roscommon will be treated to a special light ballet as part of a ten-day season of arts experiences in June.

The event, Light Ballet, is presented as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, a nationwide, ten-day season of art organised by the Arts Council, this June.

Light Ballet will transform the skies and surrounding landscape of eight counties with a light installation floating down the River Shannon over eight days and taking in skies of Westmeath and Roscommon in its path.

Created by Irish light artist Mick Murray, from Offaly, and lighting designer Matthew Cregan, Light Ballet will be visible (June 13-20) for up to seven kilometres into the sky and covering almost two hundred kilometres of land. This installation will be accompanied by a newly composed soundscape by David Kitt.

Audiences will be able to access the soundscape via the Culture Works and Brightening Air websites. The light installation and soundscape are synchronised in real-time allowing audiences to experience the soundscape at home, along the edgelands or those in-between places through their phones, tablets or computers.

Produced by Culture Works, who create and produce exciting and unforgettable arts and cultural experiences, Light Ballet, through its powerful physical presence, will surprise and delight everyone who encounters this spectacle of light and sound. The hope filled ballet of light will voyage through the hidden countryside. Light Ballet will be remote, personal and uplifting with all of the hallmarks of transformation and inspiration to those who live alongside or stumble upon it. The installation will dance through the skies of Clare, Galway, Leitrim, Longford, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary and Westmeath

From Offaly, Mick Murray has over 20 years’ experience working as a lighting designer and light artist. Mick has created a series of works and installations in the public realm. From large-scale public light installations to sculptures his work has been showcased throughout Ireland.

Matthew Cregan is a Lighting Designer from Belfast and has worked extensively in Theatre and Live Events over the last 20 years. Matt has worked on a number of outdoor lighting projects and large-scale public events including NYF Dublin, Star Wars Spire Installation, Lyric Theatre, RTE, Gaiety Theatre, and Olympia Theatre.

“A major waterway in Ireland, the Shannon is home to a continuous thread of bustling harbours and peaceful bays, lively towns and villages and fascinating heritage and historical sites. Even though we can't be together right now, it will offer us the opportunity for collective connection, creating a shared experience. We want people from where they are to stop and look around,” explained Mick.

Light Ballet and Culture Works are also inviting schools to engage in the creative process through provision of a bespoke education pack. Two primary schools from each of the eight counties will receive a pack with a worksheet and a set of instructions on how to create light movements. The artist will incorporate these into the final design. As the light installation passes through each of the locations on the River Shannon, the children’s lighting design will appear as part of the overall light installation.

For more information on the full programme visit www.brighteningair.com.

For more information on Light Ballet visit http://cultureworks.ie/ or get social on Instagram @Cultureworks.ie and @lightballeteu and on Twitter @cultureworksie and @BalletLight.

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