The LUMA Southern Light Project officially started in 2015 with a pilot project of installations during the Queenstown Winter Festival, but it grew into its own event in 2016 and won the Trust Power Award for Arts and Culture.
“The numbers doubled expectations!” LUMA Trust Chairman Duncan Forsyth said, “We were not only able to evolve from last year’s event, but also celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Queenstown Gardens with several historic installations. It was important to remind our community how precious the gardens are, and to protect these spaces.”
This year, there were 28 artistic installations strategically placed around the Queenstown Gardens, as well as a new LUMA Art Walk, which featured 13 sculptures on the Marine Parade. The illuminated sculptures, created by local and international artists, had several offers by interested buyers wanting to take home a piece of the festival.
One popular artwork was MIRROR MIRROR, by SILO, which featured a giant disco ball suspended between the forest and illuminated with different light projections. The installation created a stunning effect of a revolving night sky within the trees.
“The success can really be measured by the amount of community input we received.” Duncan continues, “Over 115 people got involved directly, whether they were volunteers, local tradesmen, schools, riggers or partners. This entire festival depends on the community and they didn’t let us down.”
LUMA Trustee and Organiser Luke Baldock was also delighted with how the festival was received. “There was such a buzz in town and in the gardens, we hoped it would be busy, but it exceeded all our expectations.” Luke said.