First look: 13 pictures showing what’s ready to dazzle you at Illuminating York 2016

Seeing our most famous landmark in a new light
25 Oct 2016 @ 8.58 pm
| Entertainment
Minster marvel… the Jason Bruges Studio lights up the cavernous cathedral. Photographs: Richard McDougall
Minster marvel… the Jason Bruges Studio lights up the cavernous cathedral. Photographs: Richard McDougall

Illuminating York returns to brighten York’s dark nights this week – and there’s plenty to dazzle.

The annual festival brings some amazing light artists to the streets and buildings of York.

Most of the installations are free except the 15 minute show in York Minster – and that is well worth the admission price.

As well as the six major works in places including York St John University’s quad, Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate, Shambles and the National Railway Museum, there is a festival fringe and fabulous food.

Illuminating York 2016

York city centre

Wed Oct 26-Sat Oct 29 @ 6pm-10pm

Mostly free; Minster installation – adults £8, children £3.50

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Magnificent Minster

Seeing our most famous landmark in a new light
Seeing our most famous landmark in a new light

York Minster is filled with beams of white light in this stunning installation Light Masonry by Jason Bruges Studio. You have to pay to see it and each ticket is allocated a time slot. Family ticket deals are available.

Photograph: Anthony Chappel-Ross
Photograph: Anthony Chappel-Ross

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York St John forest

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A new venue for illuminating York, the historic quad at York St John’s Lord Mayor’s Walk campus is host to David Ogle’s forest of light Lumen.

Visitors can walk amongst skeletal coloured luminescent trees, to experience the unusual light and shade cast by their glowing branches, with further exhibitions and performances by York St John Students to discover around the campus.

Spinning Shambles

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Arcs of light will revolve above the heads of the visitors along the entire length of Shambles. Rather than down at the cobbles you’ll be looking up to the skies.

Transforming the trains

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Pioneers of large-scale illuminated art, Heinrich and Palmer have moved into the National Railway Museum workshop.

This installation brings together projection, light drawings, film and sound, where engines are maintained and restored.

Food and the fringe

Fabulous facade: St Michael le Belfrey lit up
Fabulous facade: St Michael le Belfrey lit up

The Illuminating York fringe is a lively programme of additional attractions. These include:

the lighting up of St Michael-le-Belfrey
art at According To McGee
a tour of the Bar Convent by candlelight
the first chance for two years to tour the City Walls at night, and
a spooky film at the National Centre For Early Music.

And you can refuel too. The newly launched Shambles Market Food Court boasts a range of delicious, world street food offerings from multiple traders.

Its established kiosk chefs and exciting pop ups will provide to grub to keep hungry Illuminating York guests happy.

Art by app

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There’s also the chance to make your own luminescent artwork, with a free mobile phone app created by York-based New Moon Games.

The app, available on for iPhones or Android phones enables users to add neon-light style effects to photographs of York’s city streets during the festival to create an online gallery of designs.