A missive arrives in my inbox from East Sussex. My good friend Graham Festenstein wishes to announce the return of LewesLight next year. And that is a very good thing to be happening.
LewesLight returns after four successful years creating new and exciting installations in light, sound and space in and around the historic East Sussex town of Lewes. Created in response to the UNESCO International Year of Light in 2015, LewesLight has been held annually with the next festival taking place over the weekend of the 28th February – 1st March 2020.
This year LewesLight will be exploring environmental stories, starting with the beauty of moonlight and shadow through to the play of light on water, our artists and designers will also investigate some of the more troubling issues of our time looking at the impact that human civilisation is having on our planet; climate emergency, rising sea levels, plastic, the impact we have on wildlife and biodiversity and what this means for the future.The festival will be welcoming back some of our previous contributors and some new. Visitors can expect an eclectic mix of exciting, dramatic and thoughtful illuminations from our team of acclaimed designers and artists, and will experience the town and its more intimate spaces in new and surprising ways.
The festival is a community event and takes place due to the hard work of both our professional and community volunteers and support by our partners. This year we are working with the Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust R.A.T.S Group and the Environment Agency to involve secondary school children in the event raising awareness of sea level rise due to global warming. We are working with Making Lewes to develop a community workshop and with The Manor Green College in Crawley to involve children with learning difficulties in the production of one of our installations.
Education is at the heart of the festival as well our work with school children we aim to promote STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) showing how these subjects are inseparable from creativity, art and design.
Our professional team will also be working with undergraduate and postgraduate students from Brighton University School of Art, University College London (UCL), Rose Bruford College and Northbrook MET, providing opportunities for mentoring and experience right through the creative process through to delivering the final event.
At the time of writing contributors confirmed include designers from; BDP, Nulty+, Studio Fractal and Studio 29 plus designers and artists Michelle Dufaur, Maggie Lambert, Carl Robertshaw, Shadow Cabinet, Galit Shaltiel, Eleni Shiarlis and Tim Minter amongst others.
The festivals other partners for this years events are; Lewes Town Council, Lewes District Council, The Depot Cinema, Trinity South Malling and Sussex Events Ltd.
LewesLight acknowledges financial support from Lewes Town Council, The Arts Council of England, the Rowland Family Foundation and the Sussex Community Foundation.
The festival is supported by; Commercial Lighting, iGuzzini, Architainment, Light Projects, Rosco, Mode Lighting, The Institution of Lighting Professionals and The Society of Light and Lighting.
Graham Festenstein – Festival Director