Another spectacular light show is being installed, ready to dazzle York.
Projection cameras have now moved onto Exhibition Square, as preparations take place for Colour & Light – the second immersive light installation which launches next week.
The 3D projection onto York Art Gallery will see some of the artworks from the gallery’s collection come to life on the front of the handsome Victorian building.
It follows the huge success of last year’s event, when York Minster was lit up with a dazzling mobile art show.
Altogether four specialist cameras are being used to create this years sound and visual show, with images mapped to the contours, pillars and archways of the gallery.
Brought to the city by the York BID (Business Improvement District), working with York Museums Trust, the event is free and doesn’t require tickets.
It runs from 7-25 February. The projection will play every 10 minutes, between 6-9pm daily.
Today, all was activity in Exhibition Square. As well as installing the cameras, the team from Rufforth Plants were putting in a new floral display, and coverings were being placed over the gallery windows.
Carl Alsop, the BID’s operations manager, said all those who saw the Minster event last year will know what to expect – but the content of the projections will be very different.
“People who saw Colour & Light at the Minster will remember that we brought stonemasons’ marks to life, we brought the stained glass window to life, we looked at some of the history of the Minster.
“Here, we’ve got an art gallery with such a wealth of art of so many different mediums. I’m genuinely excited to see how this creative comes together, and we see all that projected onto the gallery itself.”
Colour & Light is put together by specialist digital artists at Double Take. Carl said the installation in Exhibition Square was not as technically challenging as last year’s, when the team were “up till three in the morning trying to squeeze things into two very old buildings”.
But they had one particularly tricky element – the statue of William Etty which stands, immovable, in front of the gallery.
Double Take have found a way to project around him – “and you will see that he comes to life as well”.
Last year’s event was a huge hit for York at a quiet time of year.
“People might know that the BID exists to support businesses and to support the city centre,” Carl said.
“From our point of view, the early evening economy is a really important part of that – people coming in enjoying the daytime, and then staying through and enjoying the early evening economy.
“We want to do something free in the city like this so that people will come in and enjoy Colour & Light, but also enjoy the massive wealth of amazing businesses the city has to offer.”
Last time, so many people came in for the illuminations that “there were businesses on Petergate that ran out of food”.