‘Luminations’ is a major new public artwork by artist Esther Rolinson and The Light Lab, comprised of a 500-metre animated light installation that sweeps along the North Promenade in Cleethorpes. The installation was constructed in close collaboration by Esther and the specialist team at The Light Lab and will be on permanent display as a hidden contemporary artwork on the east coast of England.

Rolinson developed ‘Luminations’ directly from her drawing series ‘Gravitate’, composed of graphite and ink works on paper – a series of works made spontaneously using a set of construction rules. Inside the drawings shapes build from combinations of curved and straight lines used fluidly to create a sense of ever-expanding forms. Using the ‘kiss me quick’ language of seaside lighting Rolinson has taken the traditional festoon light to euphoric heights. In Luminations, two swooping lines weave in and out of each other suspended from the lamp posts. Their forms loop the loop as light movements chase through them like sprites of wind scudding over sand; bursting out in squally crescendos that fade like that final firework drifting to the ground.

“Luminations is about that instant when you are on the big dipper and gravity loses its grip on you, when for a moment you are released from you cares. It is a celebration of those ecstatic feelings of freedom that dwell somewhere inside all of us.”

Over more than two years Rolinson and The Light Lab developed the light art installation, precisely engineering, constructing and installing the work, creating the system of forms from the original drawings to an extendable kit of parts that could flow from one lamp post to the next. Installed continuously over 35 lamp posts along the promenade, the artwork conceptually explores “unending potential or energy” and this is reflected in it’s physical construction.

The addressable festoons are DMX controlled with programming from Architainment and the artwork plays over 190 individual animations created by Rolinson. These are deliberately limited in colours to emphasise the form and sensory movement of the work and reflect the sunset and sunrise that is so spectacular in Cleethorpes. The lights appear to be ‘blown’ through with shivers and burst of light; they are constantly changing from gentle fades to dynamic surges and waves.

Luminations is very much a collaborative piece, supported throughout by the North East Lincolnshire Council’s Coastal Communities Fund, it went live on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2022 when the full, complete, piece emerged for the first time revealing the striking impact that Luminations has on its environment. Whilst a structural artwork in its own right, Luminations really comes alive with the movement created through the interaction between the two lines of light, with animations providing a fresh approach to the programming and lending the lit effect a unique feel, movement and sense of calm that embed it within the seaside location.

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