Speed of Light brings Salford quays to life

Photo credit McAteer Photography

Hundreds of runners created a beautiful human work of art last week, illuminating The Quays over three nights, in a series of extraordinary performances that brought the former-industrial docklands to life in a celebration of movement, light and sound.

Over 400 runners took part in the extraordinary performance, activating specially designed, individual light suits to bring the urban landscape to life. Runners animated the canal banks, bridges and public spaces around The Lowry, IWM North (part of Imperial War Museums) and MediaCityUK, home of the University of Salford and BBC North, moving in choreographed patterns set to a specially commissioned audio accompaniment.

In 2012 NVA's Speed of Light was a centrepiece of the Edinburgh International Festival as one of four national projects, commissioned as part of Legacy Trust UK's Community Celebrations programme, aimed at building a legacy from the UK's hosting of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The work has thrived in new settings, with an international debut in Yokomaha, Japan, at the end of 2012 as part of Smart Ilumination, an annual festival themed on sustainability and energy-saving technology.

A piece of art of a grand scale, the performance uses light, intentional movement and sound, often creating a quiet and reflective landscape and changing the way we perceive our environment. The piece uses volunteer runners in this fusion of culture and sport.

NVA’s Speed of Light was commissioned by Quays Culture, a new arts programme based at Quays/MediaCityUK, which aims to attract local and international talent to Greater Manchester.


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