SARUM Lights – Renaissance, the light and sound spectacular created by Luxmuralis, the team behind the Cathedral’s hugely successful light shows in 2020 and 2021, had its opening night on November 8.
Premiering installations and projections that take visitors on a spellbinding journey into the world of the great Italian Renaissance masters and reflect on the extraordinary period in European history that bridges the gap between the Middle Ages and the modern world, Sarum Lights – Renaissance ran from Tuesday, 8th to Saturday, 12th November.
Speaking ahead of the opening night, Canon Kenneth Padley, canon treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral and chair of the Arts Advisory Panel said: “Salisbury Cathedral is a place where openness and welcome are important and this is a way of demonstrating that openness. Thousands of people come through our doors over the next few days to explore the building and a remarkable period of creativity and invention.
“The Cathedral itself is an enormous artwork from the 13th century and it is a place where art has remained relevant right to the present day. We have regular exhibitions and installations, most recently tapestries by Grayson Perry and we also have our own permanent collection.”
Peter Walker, artistic director, Luxmuralis said: “Salisbury Cathedral is a remarkable building and it’s always a privilege to come and work in spaces like this. They offer the opportunity to tell stories in contemporary ways and have always been places where craft and art is brought to public attention. Our aim is to create a very special, immersive experience where art and the building go hand in glove. The art is really in three parts – one is the building, two is the work we do to create the experience and the third is the visitor and their response to the work.”
Running from the late 1400s to the 1600s, the Renaissance was a time of major transformation, producing artists, architects, musicians, philosophers and scientists who remain household names. Sarum Lights – Renaissance offered visitors an opportunity to encounter the period anew through music and images projected onto the Cathedral’s West Front, in the Cloisters and in the main Cathedral building – or to simply pause, reflect and enjoy the projections as they evolve around them, transforming and enveloping the gorgeous medieval spaces.
Luxmuralis is a collaborative team made up of artists from different backgrounds and artistic disciplines, dedicated to creating work across multiple media and presentation formats.
Headed up by sculptor and artist Peter Walker and composer David Harper, the primary purpose of Luxmuralis is to take art onto the streets and provide access to visual artwork in unexpected places, both public and workspaces.
With clients ranging from councils and heritage buildings to corporate spaces, this diverse team seeks to explore the development of the fine art tradition through new media and place the medium in an art historical context.
Salisbury Cathedral’s art exhibitions form part of the Cathedral’s outreach and engagement. The Cathedral’s pioneering arts policy seeks to use the medium of visual art to inspire and allow contemplation of the Cathedral from a new perspective, to increase our spiritual impact and enhance the experience of Salisbury Cathedral for visitors and worshippers alike.
Specific objectives of its arts policy is to present art which: seeks to present the Gospel in new ways to all who encounter the Cathedral engages, sometimes challenges, but always opens up exploration of our shared humanity and fullness of life brings more visitors – and returning visitors – to the Cathedral and the Close creates possibilities for a wide range of people to engage with art.
Working to ensure that opportunities are inclusive and relevant provides opportunities for stimulating educational and participatory activities for schools, families, adult groups and individuals.
Sarum Lights – Renaissance was designed to use minimal power, with low energy/LED lights replacing the usual Cathedral lighting, ensuring no more power than usual was used in the display. The Cathedral itself also uses LED lighting, and has its own power generating solar panels.