New city-wide light display set to show the UK 'how Portsmouth shines'

THE whole of Portsmouth could be transformed into a 'work of art' next year as part of an ambitious light festival designed to show the rest of the UK 'how we shine' and boost the economy with millions of pounds.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 4:27 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 5:03 pm
The Lumiere Durham Festival that took place this year, which could be used as inspiration for We Shine Portsmouth Picture: Matthew Andrews

As one of its first major projects cultural organisation Portsmouth Creates has set its sights on lighting up Portsmouth's buildings and landmarks for a three-day-and-night city-wide art display.

Branded We Shine Portsmouth, it is hoped the event will run during November 2020 incorporating existing Christmas lights and light displays with new bold projections and music.

Tim Rusby, chairman of Portsmouth Creates, said: 'We really make the rest of the UK sit up and pay attention. It's not about looking into Portsmouth, it's about looking outward and showing how we shine.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Lumiere Durham Festival that took place this year, which could be used as inspiration for We Shine Portsmouth Picture: Matthew Andrews

'The great thing about Portsmouth is we've got so many big buildings and landmarks. Imagine the whole of the Mary Rose lit up telling a story.'

Portsmouth Creates, which is backed by the Arts Council England, Victorious Festival, Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth, was inspired by the Lumiere Festival, which has taken place in Durham and London.

Read More

Read More
Group to act as 'catalyst' for millions of pounds of cultural investment in Port...

But for We Shine Portsmouth the organisation will look to skilled people and groups from the city to put the event together. This will include artists, electricians, digital artists, writers and musicians.

The Lumiere Durham Festival that took place this year, which could be used as inspiration for We Shine Portsmouth Picture: Matthew Andrews

'We want to leave a legacy with this that lasts much longer than just three nights,' Mr Rusby said.

'Imagine young kids getting to learn about digital art and then having that art projected on to the Guildhall. Through this we can teach them skills and give them a platform.'

It is hoped the event will drive up the city's economy by encouraging investment from outside businesses as well as visitors to Portsmouth. In 2016 the Lumiere Festival led to a £9.6m boost for Durham.

Culture boss at the city council, Councillor Steve Pitt, added: 'We know that similar festivities have been extremely successful and we want to make sure we put Portsmouth on the map.

The Lumiere Durham Festival that took place this year, which could be used as inspiration for We Shine Portsmouth Picture: Matthew Andrews

'Where other places have started these projects and grown we want to go big straight away.'

Terry Collins, chief executive of Durham County Council, said: 'Over the last decade, Lumiere has brought huge benefits to county Durham’s communities and economy, and given thousands of local people the opportunity to engage with art.'

The event will be paid for by some of the current Portsmouth Creates budget as well as future investment.

The Lumiere Durham Festival that took place this year, which could be used as inspiration for We Shine Portsmouth Picture: Matthew Andrews
The Lumiere Durham Festival that took place this year, which could be used as inspiration for We Shine Portsmouth Picture: Matthew Andrews