Light festival for Wellington waterfront

Nine-day festival to bust winter blues

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 21/08/2012
Light Festival
Enigmatica by Australian artist Kit Wedster will feature in the Lux-Mini Light Festival.
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Wellington is getting a nine-day light festival which organisers hope to expand to become a mid-winter blues buster that will rival the International Arts Festival for popularity.

The Lux-Mini Light Festival will run nightly from September 1-9 at four locations along the waterfront, from the lagoon to Te Papa.

But producer Mary Laine said this year's event was a ''teaser taster'' for a much larger festival that would hopefully run for up to four weeks every two years starting in June or July next year.

''It's not written in stone but this is absolutely, absolutely what we are shooting for.''

She hoped the festival would run in the years when there was no New Zealand International Arts Festival.

The 2012 arts festival had an economic impact of $56 million and created 362 jobs, with 113,000 tickets sold.

Ms Laine said the festival aimed to get people out in the middle of winter.

''In New Zealand particularly, there are no holidays in winter. People tend to hide out in their homes and wait it out.''

Next month's light festival would be limited to four installations and would run ''on the smell of an oily rag''.

Wellington City Council gave the festival $10,000 for a feasibility study to look into the light festival becoming Wellington's new ''iconic event''.

Some of this money was going towards next month's festival. New Zealand's Interrupt Collective would have an installation inside the Michael Fowler Centre, facing outside towards the Town Hall. The interactive piece would see people's body shapes transformed into geometric shapes. Storybox, also from New Zealand, would put on a scaled back version of After Light, a piece they took to Singapore earlier this year that had projections on 14 screens on 27 containers.

The Wellington version, at Odlin's Plaza, would have four screens on two large containers. Australia's Kit Webster and Squidsoup from United Kingdom were also exhibiting. The festival is being run by Wellington City Council, Massey University's College of Creative Arts and design company Storybox.

College of Creative Arts Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Chris Bennewith said an expanded festival would give Wellington a ''cutting edge, internationally recognised cultural tourism event''. Council spokesman Grahame Armstrong said next month's festival would run alongside the Digital Earth Summit in Wellington, which was aiming to move beyond science to include art, culture, and story telling.

The summit is bringing people together from around the world to look at ways to solve environmental problems using technology.

See some of the pieces here:

Enigmatica by Kit Webster
Acute Self by Interrupt Collective
After Light by Storybox

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Contact Tom Hunt
Porirua reporter
Email: tom.hunt@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @tomdom76

- The Dominion Post

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