Dazzling Sarum Lights display set for return to Salisbury Cathedral

A DAZZLING display of lights exploring art and social change will light up Salisbury this November.

Sarum Lights: Illuminating Art, created by Luxmuralis, will be at the Cathedral from November 7 to 11, with organisers promising a ‘light and sound spectacular’.

The display aims to explore art and photography across the centuries, taking visitors on a journey from the drama of Baroque and the Protestant-Catholic conflicts of the 16th century to Art Deco and early 20th century industrialisation and experimentation.

Displays in the Cloisters, Trinity Chapel and North Nave Aisle reflect on four centuries of ‘new’ ideas, starting with the concept of moral philosophy, natural science and the first English dictionary, and moving on to the American War of Independence, abolition of slavery and women’s emancipation.

As we reach the 19th century, Brunel and the age of steam rub shoulders with early photography and Zoetrope (an early animation device).

In the North Transept a special interactive display – Starry, Starry Night (part of an installation devoted to impressionism and post impressionism) – invites visitors to write and share their thoughts on star-shaped cards, a reference to Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, painted a year before his death when he was in Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy.

The finale, in the Nave, showcases the Pre-Raphaelites (Burne-Jones, Millais, Rossetti and Holman Hunt) and the Impressionists (Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Manet and Renoir) – all titans of their generation seen in a new light.

Luxmuralis’ artistic director, Peter Walker, said: “Visitors can choose how they want to experience the exhibition, either basking in glorious images and sound or digging a little deeper and contemplating the big ideas that emerged after the Renaissance. It is their choice.

“All the paintings we know and love will be there, but there will also be areas that investigate what was happening when those pictures were created.”

Kenneth Padley, Canon Treasurer and chair of Salisbury Cathedral’s Arts Advisory Panel, said: “Cathedrals have always used art, light and sound to explore their ideas and values, so projections like this work really well in here, and the space itself adds another layer to the experience.

“The timing is particularly poignant too, with this show exploring significant ideas and movements as we move into Advent, the period in which we prepare for the coming of God’s light at Christmas.”

Sarum Lights: Illuminating Art opens on Tuesday, November 7, and runs until Saturday, November 11. The first showing is at 5.30pm daily, with new slots available every 15 minutes.

Low-sound screenings for the neurodiverse community will be available from 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Tuesday, November 7 and Wednesday, November 8, with a free carer ticket.

Tickets will go on sale from September 18 via the Cathedral website,

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