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Lighting Up the Night

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3 min read

Lighting Up the Night

3 min read

16/02/21

Lighting Up the Night

In 2020 “Lighting Up the Night” created an after dark walking trail that combined Luminaries building projections with a community illuminated window trail.

Through Creative Ireland funding, Vintage Luminaries has evolved to connect people of Birr with the heritage of the built environment through immersive video mapped audio, visual installations. These are more than just light shows, they are narratives bound up within the fabric of our town, that bring stories to centre stage and give ownership of this history to the community.

In 2020, Lighting Up the Night created an after dark walking trail that combined Luminaries building projections with a community illuminated window trail.

From grand Georgian houses to bungalows and shops, 32 premises created a magical walking trail of illuminated windows that turned the streets into an outdoor art gallery. A perfect socially distanced way to see the architecture of the town in a new light and raise the spirits.

For the building illuminations, 3 artists were commissioned to create work that addressed the heritage of Birr within the broader contemporary landscape and these works ranged from a reimagined mythology of the Midlands and the tale of the last wolf in Offaly, to responses to Cáin Abdomnán, one of the first ever laws addressing human rights issues, particularly the protection of women and children.

The second Luminaries project of 2020 gave the creation of the artwork to the children of the four Birr Primary Schools, facilitated by artist Caroline Conway through zoom and based on the local stories of the Duchas Schools Folklore Project. Within the stories collected in and around Birr, a version of one story appears 4 times that challenged the children to reimagine what a fairy is. These Birr fairies were not pink and delicate, but were fighting, hurling fairies who threw potatoes and apples and generally caused trouble!

Projected over two nights in December, the children and their families were able to come out safely within the current guidelines. Seeing their artwork projected on such a scale and hearing their narrative gave a huge sense of pride and connection.

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