‘Spectacular’ lights festival arriving in Enfield

New month-long event set to illuminate local landmarks and town centres, reports James Cracknell

Artist Lauren Baker will use the Suffragete movement as inspiration for her art installation in Palmers Green
Artist Lauren Baker will use the Suffragette movement as inspiration for her art installation in Palmers Green

The first-ever ‘Enfield Winter Lights’ festival will illuminate the borough’s streets in February and March – bringing “light, joy and positivity”.

The arts showcase will feature a series of large-scale installations designed to illuminate four town centres; Angel Edmonton, Enfield Town, Palmers Green and Southgate.

Backed with funding from the government’s Welcome Back Fund, organisers say Enfield Winter Lights intends to bring together artists, local businesses and the wider community with “spectacular” light artworks designed to celebrate the heritage of the borough and “dazzle us with colour, creativity and innovation”.

The festival will see six artists deliver site-specific art installations in each town centre; in Angel Edmonton, a series of light portraits by local rising talent King Owusu will shine a spotlight on residents; in Palmers Green, a light artwork by Lauren Baker will focus on the significance of the Suffragette movement and female empowerment; in Southgate, local artist Dan Maier plans to deliver site-specific installations bringing the “essence of nature to architectural landmarks”; and in Enfield Town, a luminescent sculpture “promoting unity and connection” will be created by artist Mark Beattie.

In addition, a “mesmerising light projection” will be created by Claire Luxton at “two iconic architectural landmarks” in Enfield Town and Edmonton, plus an “immersive neon light garden”. The artists will also be creating installations to occupy vacant shop premises and will curate a borough-wide art trail on billboards in seventeen locations around Enfield borough.

Part of the idea behind Enfield Winter Lights is to pay homage to Sir Joseph Swan, a pioneer in the electronics industry and an early developer of the incandescent light bulb in the Victorian age. In 1886, Edison Swan United Electric Light Company opened a factory in Ponders End to manufacture electric light bulbs, known colloquially as ‘The Lamp’.

As well as outdoor art interventions the festival will include interactive elements, where local people are encouraged to get creative. On the opening weekend, residents are invited to take part in a neon life-drawing class led by Jylle Navarro, which will use ultraviolet reactive arts materials.

Enfield Council’s deputy leader Ian Barnes welcomed the arrival of the new festival and said: “We have some truly astonishing art works coming to Enfield, from larger than life building projections to an interactive exhibition within a shipping container, and much more in between.

“This ambitious public arts programme will help to bring local stories to life while encouraging visitors into our town centres, to offer support to our local businesses who will be nestled amongst these inspiring artworks. We know that culture can play a great role in economic development and to help shape local pride and identity for all our communities; I can’t wait to welcome everyone back to Enfield’s high streets.”

Enfield Winter Lights runs from Thursday 3rd February until Wednesday 9th March. All workshops will be free or under £10. For more information:
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Twitter @enfieldwinterl
Visit enfieldwinterlights.com