Light Night Stoke-on-Trent: Announcing the North Staffs Artist CommissionsLight Night Stoke-on-Trent is a brand-new event for the city delivered by Appetite in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the Cultural Forum which will see Burslem Town Centre over three evenings magnificently lit up with a programme of world class animated projections, glistening musical parades and light artworks.
In collaboration with the Stoke-on-Trent Cultural Champions, Light Night Stoke-on-Trent created an open call commission opportunity especially for North Staffordshire-based artists to create new light-based work for this event which builds on the legacy of the UK City of Culture 2021 bid.
We are delighted to announce the two successful local companies being commissioned are: Filament Projects with ‘Extra Yarn’ and The Social Agency with ‘Hours of Darkness’.
Filament is a North Staffordshire-based collaboration between theatre-maker and education practitioner Sarah Richardson and producer Helen Slevin, formed out a desire to create exciting and varied theatrical experiences for all and to bring live drama experiences to those who might otherwise struggle to access them. Adapted from a book by Mac Barnett, Extra Yarn is an interactive performance for everyone aged 4 and up telling the tale of Annabelle and her dog Mars who set about transforming their bleak town with a miraculous box of yarn.
Helen Slevin, Filament Producer said: ‘Filament are delighted to be one of the locally commissioned artists for Light Night Stoke-on-Trent. Extra Yarn is a story we have been eager to tell for some time, and this beautiful tale of a small girl transforming her community (through extreme knitting!) really seemed to chime with the City of Culture bid and its effect on the city. We are excited to be delivering the commission in partnership with a host of local artists, including Daniella Beattie and Paul Rogerson.’
The Social Agency is an arts-based support group for autistic and/or learning-disabled adults, facilitated by Rideout (Creative Arts for Rehabilitation) which specialises in work with people from marginalised communities. The Social Agency has been commissioned to create a giant installation in the form of an illuminated lantern brain. Realised in collaboration with local artists Richard Redwin and B-arts’ Hilary Hughes with sound by Toby White, Hours of Darkness features a series of short films exploring the things that keep us awake at night.
Saul Hewish, Director of Rideout said: ‘The Social Agency is thrilled to be commissioned to produce a piece of work to be included in this prestigious event. It is rare for our group members, whom are all autistic or learning disabled, to have the chance to share their artwork in a public space, and Light Night Stoke-on-Trent gives us a fantastic opportunity to work with local professional artists to help us express both our creativity and ideas.’
The commissions were awarded by a panel including the Stoke-on-Trent Cultural Champions, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Appetite.
Gemma Thomas, Appetite Director who sat on the panel said: ‘It was really important to us, our partners and the Cultural Champions that North Staffordshire-based artists had the opportunity to create new work for the inaugural Light Night Stoke-on-Trent programme. We’re pleased to have commissioned two organisations with a breadth of ideas and to work with the Stoke-on-Trent Cultural Champions to design the brief and be a part of the commissioning process as decision-makers. We can’t wait to see what the new work looks and feels like and find out what the people of the city and visitors to the event think about the projects.’
You can experience Extra Yarn and Hours of Darkness as part of Light Night Stoke-on-Trent, taking place in Burslem Town Centre from Thursday 31 January to Saturday 2 February 2019. Find out more and keep up to date with further programme announcements as they are made here.