Lightwaves 2022 invited visitors to explore a trail of dramatic light art installations that animate and transform the urban waterside environment around Salford Quays and MediaCity each winter.

Taking place from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th December, visitors of all ages can enjoyed illuminated works from established as well as emerging artists, local and national, bringing a variety of different pieces; thought-provoking, surprising and playful.

Lightwaves Festival is part of the Quays Culture Programme, a partnership initiative with a mission to animate public spaces, bringing extraordinary art into the heart of the community for everyone to experience free of charge.


Once We Were Water – Idontloveyouanymore

Once We Were Water is the second work in a series of digital water recreations by award winning art studio idontloveyouanymore. This project acts almost as the imaginings of a distant culture, an age where rivers and waterfalls no longer flow. What do we remember them as? How do we recreate natural phenomena in a computerised world? Built using a particle system that is reactive to your presence, Once We Were Water, flows over you like rivers of the past, and springs to vibrant life under your movements.

Through play and connection, it leaves you to ponder both what we are gaining and what we are sacrificing in the digital age. Once We Were Water was commissioned by Light Up Lancaster and Quays Culture.

Our Beating Heart – Studio Vertigo

An unexpected sight to behold outside of a nightclub venue or disco, ‘Our Beating Heart’ brings the mirror ball principle to a grand scale. As the sculpture slowly rotates, urban spaces come alive. Dapples of light dance and shift, transforming buildings and streets, making each surrounding surface appear to blend into the other.
The heart will reflect light in fantastical, swirling and changing patterns. This lighting effect can be seen from some distance, with the heart constantly shimmering due to the extent of mirror tiles used. The ‘mirror ball’ effect is particularly spectacular outdoors where naturally uneven surfaces make reflections appear to dance around as the light passes over them.

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