‘Beautiful’, ‘tranquil’, and ‘hypnotic’ are just some of the words being used to describe a new light display which pays tribute to work supporting refugees and asylum seekers.
The interactive art is on show inside Gloucester Cathedral to mark 20 years of Gloucestershire refugee charity, GARAS.
Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS) and the Cathedral have been working together with the Everyman Theatre, The Music Works youth choir and the digital arts-based company ‘Squid soup’, to provide an immersive and sensory experience for audiences.
The piece was designed by artist Anthony Rowe and is accompanied by audio testimonies from various people who have received help from GARAS and are now living in Gloucester after seeking refuge.
‘Where there is light’ @GlosCathedral @GlosDioc is aaamazing. Submerge yourself in hundreds of individual lights connected to each other, creating something mysterious & beautiful, surrounded by voices of refugees & asylum seekers telling their stories. Bring yours.. & connect.. pic.twitter.com/aScL8O3hms— Rachel Treweek (@BishGloucester) January 17, 2020
A weekend full of light & beauty: Fri evening @GlosCathedral launching ‘Let there be light’; Saturday rest-day including stunning sunshine walk with @treweekg Prinknash Abbey; Sunday 2 confirmation services in @GlosDioc @churchofengland ‘Shine as a light in the world.’ pic.twitter.com/E1HmtO9tPU— Rachel Treweek (@BishGloucester) January 19, 2020
It took two days to construct the artwork, which uses a metal frame to align glowing lights along strands of rope that descend into the middle of the room. Each strand had to be attached and programmed before the public could view the project, which has taken over a year to become a reality.
Helen Jeffrey, Community Engagement and Social Responsibility Manager for Gloucester Cathedral explained how the effect is achieved.
“The artist programmes each light to respond to the soundtrack. You’ll see that when you hear the voices, the lights are more intermittent, and when we’ve got the musical excerpts it builds and crescendos to give more of a full effect”.
She said “It’s here to allow people to be immersive, reflect and share an experience. The Cathedral has always been a place of refuge. It’s about coming together and enjoying something with your neighbour. Love thy neighbour I suppose”.
The display has been open to the public since last Sunday and looks to remain in the Lady Chapel until the 23rd February. The piece is being very well received and is proving to be popular on Instagram, with users snapping the best images at night.
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'Where There is Light' is the latest installation to be held @gloucestercathedral following on from 'Museum of the Moon' held in October last year! . Celebrating 20 years since Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS) was formed, this partnership between Gloucester Cathedral, The Everyman Theatre (@everymanchelt) & The Music Works (@themusicworksglos), sees this magical light installation from Squidsoup's (@squidsoup_org) artwork tell the true narrative of those who now subside in Gloucester having travelled from an array of countries and having used GARAS services. . 'Where is the Light' can be seen inside The Lady Chapel at Gloucester Cathedral until Sunday 23rd February 2020! . #whereisthelight #lightinstallation #gloucestercathedral #GARAS #Cathedralgram
The exhibition is providing a meaningful message, as well as providing entertainment for children, and has left some people visually upset.
One visitor, Karen, 54 of Longlevens described it as a “beautiful and emotional tribute to GARAS and the work they have completed for people who need it”.
Mary, 67 of Longford said “our granddaughter loved the moon exhibition before, so we thought we would give her the experience of all these colours”.
Tom Gibbon, Head of Online Content at Gloucestershire Live, praised the work.
“I think the atmosphere is great. I hope it generates awareness of what GARAS are doing and I hope it brings more people to this absolutely amazing venue in the middle of Gloucester.”
The Cathedral have asked that visitors please check the website for opening times when planning a visit.