This self-initiated research project co-developed with lighting designer Claire Norcross was a feasibility study for a festival of contemporary illuminations in the seaside town of Morecambe, funded by Arts Council England and Lancashire County Council. The festival would draw on Morecambe’s long history of illuminations, and reinterpret it for a contemporary audience.
The project has a design focus, and the team has an interest in the development of new technologies and low energy solutions. Illumination aims to contribute towards the regeneration of Morecambe through engaging and involving local people by asking local businesses to support and enable the project delivery (eg hotels and lighting companies); inviting school children and local residents to get involved as project participants and volunteers; and local artists offering mentoring opportunities to support their skills development.
Proposed projects include a projection onto the restored art deco Midland Hotel on the seafront, a ‘drive in movie’ programme projected onto the back of the historic Winter Gardens Theatre building and a programme of smaller-scale creative interventions in shop windows on the main shopping street. These works would form a walking trail around the town, supporting the local authority’s regeneration objectives to develop the night-time economy and tourist economy of Morecambe.
The feasibility study included research into the history of Morecambe’s illuminations, a list of possible artists, outline budgets for delivery and a timeline for a 3-year programme of events.
The project is in a research and development phase.