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River of Light 2023 celebrates Eurovision magic

Liverpool’s successful hosting of Eurovision is being celebrated in River of Light which returns to the city’s waterfront from tonight.

The free event, taking place each evening until November 5, not only has the theme United by Light – a homage to Eurovision’s United by Music – but acclaimed designer Julio Himede, who created the song contest’s striking stage design, has joined River of Light’s artist line-up with a new artwork.

And Ukrainian creatives Tais Poda and RocknLight are also bringing world-first projections to the festival.

They are two of 12 installations which together form a 1.2 mile/2km after dark walking trail through the city’s waterfront and business district.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to enjoy the trail over the next 10 days.

The installations are:

Emergence - Martin Luther King Building, Royal Albert Dock

Emergence, from globally acclaimed artists This is Loop, encourages visitors to explore a 10ft by 32ft pavilion comprised of 75 mirrors and 10,000 LED lights and accompanied by a soundscape.

A hearing loop will help those with hearing problems to enjoy the full experience while an audio description is available for people with impaired vision.

There are three entrances to the installation in which order and chaos collide.

Lampshades Bouquet - Salthouse Dock Strand side

Expect gigantic outdoor versions of a household lamp which light up in a variety of colours, with a bench at the base of each to sit and enjoy the experience in this piece by French artistic studio TILT.

Each bouquet, created from locally-sourced wood, plus aluminium and steel, has been created in TILT's workshops and is made up of nine giant lamps.

Elysian - Exchange Flags

Elysian in Exchange Flags exists as a temporary space of reflection, immersion and joy for its audience.

Three U shapes converge in its centre, creating a vaulted space for people to move under and around, while the work explores the movement of colour as it interacts with light and form.

Elysian Arcs - Exchange Flags

Enjoy a series of three arced modules in a space aesthetic style and which are arranged around and within the negative space of Elysian itself.

Liverpool-based award-winning composer John McHugh has been chosen by Atelier Sisu to produce a new soundscape for both the Elysian art works.

United By Music - Pier Head

New York-based design firm Yellow Studio - founded by Julio Himede – will bring its 32ft/10m round, multi-purpose performance space to River of Light for its debut, paying tribute to the music of Eurovision 2023 and promising a one-of-a-kind experience for all who attend.

It features a soundtrack including six songs from this year’s competition.

Ukrainian Dreams - Royal Albert Dock arcade

This new commission sees the vivid and wildly imaginative works of one of Ukraine’s best loved artists, Tais Poda and RocknLight, brought to life in an audio-visual spectacle.

It expresses the hope and pride of Ukraine through the wonderful work of Maria Prymacenko while composer Dmytro Saratskyi has provided an original Ukrainian folk score to accompany the piece.

This artwork has been co-produced with and part funded by Arts Council England and Royal Albert Dock Liverpool.

Our Beating Heart - Town Hall Balcony

Art and design collective Studio Vertigo brings back Our Beating Heart which glistened at Liverpool Town Hall during Eurovision.

The heart shaped mirror ball returns with a spectacular dancing light show for the beautiful shimmering sight.

NOVA - Liverpool Parish Churchyard

Another Studio Vertigo piece, NOVA is based around a transient astronomical event which causes a star to quickly increase the strength of light it emits.

Visitors will feel like they’re experiencing a ‘new’ star - mighty and dazzling.

Night Whisper - Pier Head

Sydney-based art studio Amigo & Amigo is back for River of Light with the European premiere of Night Whisper, a piece inspired by the dynamic movement of moths around light, and which features a giant luminescent light bulb.

GLOW - Mann Island

This world premiere is the second installation by Amigo & Amigo and features a giant interactive light installation inspired by the cycles of the moon, with more than 40 different sounds and animations.

Florescentia - Mann Island Atrium

From the Latin word for ‘blossoming’, Florescentia is inspired by the phenomenal natural transformations found in the biology of plant life and is created by Australian artists Atelier Sisu.

The piece incorporates movement, light and a soundscape illustrating the blend of the mechanical and the natural composed by Miles Nicholas.

Labyrinth - Derby Square

This modular colourful Art-chitecture and temporary playground is driven by an exploration of the golden ratio and its connection to the Fibonacci sequence, once again created by Atelier Sisu.

Each module of Labyrinth is positioned to create a unique colourful and immersive experience for audiences.

Cllr Harry Doyle, the city’s Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Culture, said: “Five months on, and the success of Eurovision is still a huge talking point so I’m delighted that we have commissioned some incredible artworks which pay tribute to those fantastic, surreal two weeks in May.

“To be able to showcase a unique piece from the Eurovision stage designers themselves is a huge coup, and it’s also great to see a tangible legacy of staging that global event as we continue to proudly work with Ukrainian artists to share and appreciate their culture.”

And Julio Himede added: "It’s an honour to be back in Liverpool, participating in River of Light. Our monument is a tribute to the cultural phenomenon of Eurovision and an homage to the warm community of Liverpool.

“The show’s global message of unity, expression, and diversity is celebrated through bold monochromatic tones and the playful animation of light."

River of Light takes place from October 27 to November 5. Full details HERE

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