Light Ballet on the Shannon connects people, landscape and creativity

Galway daily arts Light Ballet on the Shannon connects people, landscape and creativity
Light Ballet on Lough Derg. Photo Credit Emilija Jefremova

The stunning Light Ballet installation which lit up the skies of eight counties over the course of its voyage down the Shannon, came to the end of its journey in Portumna recently.

The light installation piece, which was made for the ten day Brightening Air experience, made its maiden voyage this month from June 13 – 20.

The installation piece set off from Lough Key in County Roscommon, and travelled through Leitrim, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath, Tipperary, Clare, before finishing at Portumna on Lough Derg.

Created by Irish Light Artist Mick Murray and Lighting Designer Matthew Cregan, the installation was accompanied by a newly composed soundscape by David Kitt with words from Poet Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe

The light installation and soundscape  were synchronised in real-time which allowed audiences to experience the soundscape at home, along the edgelands or those in-between places through their phones, tablets or computers.

“Light Ballet, surpassed my expectations. The zoom calls during the day with the school children we collaborated with as part of the Light Ballet Education Project  really made it for me,” said Matthew Cregan.

He said that he was pleased to show children an art form that they never new existed, and also praised Kitt’s work on the soundscape, which enhanced the art form and sat well in the landscape it passed.

“It  was lovely being on the shore and hearing everyone watching and listening to the soundscape in sync with the installation.”

“Light Ballet  was such a unique experience and I am grateful to have created it alongside Mick and thankful to the Arts Council for the opportunity and to our partners for their support.”

Mick Murray commented that this was a “mammoth” undertaking, and that one of their biggest goals was to connect with communities along the Shannon.

“The boating community we met along the journey was very supportive and engaged. Every time we passed someone on the river or at a lock and explained the artwork we got words of great encouragement, followed by “we saw light ballet” a few days later when we passed again.”

“They also helped spread the word and to explain how to connect with the soundscape to others, creating a great atmosphere about Light Ballet  on the water and from as early on at Lough key.  It was really nice to see an audience so engaged.”

In the coming weeks you will be able to watch the full Light Ballet experience online via the Culture Works website.