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Light Nelson returns to brighten up winter’s darkest month

Light Nelson returns to brighten up winter’s darkest month
6-10 July 2018
Light Nelson is a celebration of creativity, community and the wonder of light.

Light Nelson will once again brighten up Nelson from 6-10 July 2018. Now in its fourth year, Light Nelson is a five-day light festival that has quickly become one of Nelson’s largest and favourite free biennial events, attracting more than 55,000 visitors in its last outing in 2016.

Light Nelson is a free outdoor event featuring a dazzling array of light installations on every scale, from a one-person-at-a time port-a-loo tardis, through to magnificent multi-storeyed projections. Light Nelson celebrates the alluring qualities of light – to illuminate, dazzle, transform, and to make a winter’s night a whole lot more magical.

In 2018, Light Nelson is extending its footprint across Queen’s Gardens, Albion Square, and the campus for Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT). Visitors will follow a walking trail that winds through more than 60 light installations. Hardy Street will be blocked to traffic, and become the central hub with food and entertainment, as well as the best views of the projections onto NMIT’s B Block. There will also be a little satellite venue in Bridge St Pocket Park.

The selection process of local, national and international artists and creatives has been confirmed, and once combined with NMIT’s Arts & Media students, the anticipated total will be more than 60 light installations.

Project Manager Sophie Kelly says, “It’s incredible how quickly Light Nelson has become a key event on the region’s event calendar. It’s a fantastic project that features hundreds of incredible artists and creatives, some very generous supporters, and, of course, tens of thousands of visitors.

“Our audience is a truly mixed bunch, from littlies to elders, from locals to visitors, from family groups to those looking for the perfect date-night!” continued Kelly. “We know that many people come to Light Nelson who might not necessarily go to any other art or culture events. The sheer number of more than 55,000 people, with the vast majority being from the Nelson and Tasman regions, demonstrates that Light Nelson is a much-loved event.”

Light Nelson is supported by The Collective, a group that provides a supportive, educational and creative environment that is open to everybody. The Collective are particularly keen to include community members in collaborative works, creating an environment and opportunity to share skills and ideas. This spirit of community participation remains at the core of Light Nelson, as is the decision to keep it a free event.

Caroline Marshall, Chair of the Artist Selection Committee, looks after all the submissions, and said, “It’s so exciting to make the selection of artworks and installations, and know that within four months they’ll be brightening up our winter nights. We love that we have such a broad range of people submitting proposals. From practicing artists and designers, through to school teachers, chocolate makers, scientists, distillers and electricians. This year we have a healthy mix of people who have participated in every event, as well as those entering for the first time.”

Like previous years, Light Nelson 2018 will feature some invited New Zealand artists. This year Light Nelson is very excited to welcome acclaimed filmmaker and artist Vincent Ward (Auckland) who will project video onto the Suter Art Gallery. Storybox creative director Rob Appierdo (Wellington), will present Entity, an installation that uses mandala patterns to induce calm contemplation. And after being one of the standout favourites in 2016, digital designer Jon Baxter (Auckland) has been invited back to once again design huge projections for one of Nelson’s most beautiful wooden buildings, NMIT’s B Block.

Light Nelson is a celebration of light, community and creativity.
To find out more about Light Nelson 2018 visit www.lightnelson.co.nz where you can join the mailing list for regular updates, or check out Light Nelson on Facebook

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