Filling the streets with spectacular neon lights and sculpture, the Bristol Light Festival returns in February, bringing new artworks from around the globe for the first time as well as much-loved favourites which will have visitors swinging into action!

A signature event for the city, Bristol Light Festival which is free-to-attend and is returning for its fourth year from February 2 – 11. Taking place over 10 evenings, the city’s streets will be brought to life with playful installations which allow onlookers to engage, interact and watch in awe as the wintery nights brighten up.

One of the installations includes the global premiere of Ascendance, an interstellar installation by creative powerhouse Studio McGuire which explores the idea of loneliness. Featuring an astronaut drifting through space, the installation is projected onto one of Bristol’s most iconic locations and landscapes. Artists Davy and Kristin McGuire said, ‘We are delighted to be returning to the Bristol Light Festival, which is such an inspiring setting for us to showcase our work. With Ascendance, we wanted to demonstrate how beauty and sorrow can be deeply linked. The astronaut, who is losing oxygen as he floats untethered amongst the stars, is cocooned in a hallucinatory garden creating an exquisite image that contrasts against the stark sadness of his isolation. We are very proud to be unveiling this for the first time in Bristol, a city we called home for a very long time.’

Great British Life: Bristol Light Festival Photo: Martin OllmanBristol Light Festival Photo: Martin Ollman

Evanescent, another Bristol exclusive, is an immersive light and sound bubble environment from award-winning collaborative team Atelier Sisu, made up of sculptor and industrial designer Renzo B Larriviere and architect Zara Pasfield, ‘We want our ‘art-chitecture’ to connect audiences with their environment. We have designed Evanescent to be truly inclusive. By emulating the airy-like quality and magic of bubbles, we want to appeal to human beings’ universal playfulness and sense of childlike wonder, while encouraging the audience to consider the world around them as a delicate space, like that of a bubble.’

Visitors will also be able to engage with The Nectary; a multi-sensory light artwork created by artist Alison Smith and Dr Chris Hassall, a lecturer in Animal Biology, which gives its visitors a unique perspective on nature. Alison Smith, said, ‘The name comes from the part of the flower that produces the nectar, which Dr.Hassall and I wanted to highlight for its connotations around the richness of nature. We love the idea that this work will touch people in many different ways, as we all connect with nature on an individual level. For families with small children, the giant flowers are an eye-catching and whimsical sight that brings joy to those young and young at heart. We also love that the installation features a summery soundscape providing a juxtaposition of the sounds of wind, birds and pollinators in the setting of a winter light festival.”

Bristol Light Festival is founded by the Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID) and delivered in partnership with Redcliffe & Temple BID. The festival is curated by the multi award-winning creative director, Katherine Jewkes who said, ‘From the large expanses of space with Studio McGuire's brand-new work and immersing yourself into a world of giant bubbles with Atelier Sisu’s Evanescent, to seeing the world as a bee with The Nectary, there’s something for every member of the family. We are proud to continue to provide opportunities for both world-renowned artists and new talent alike, particularly when we can showcase the amazing talent we have here in the South West.’

Great British Life: Bristol Light Festival Photo: Bristol Light FestivalBristol Light Festival Photo: Bristol Light Festival