February 28, 2023 8.00 am This story is over 14 months old

Life by Luxmuralis creator hopes to return to Lincoln Cathedral

It was the most popular event in the Cathedral’s history

By Local Democracy Reporter

The brains behind Life by Luxmuralis, a stunning immersive light and sound experience which dazzled over 10,000 people at Lincoln Cathedral, have said they hope to return to the city in the near future.

In February this year, fine artist Peter Walker and music composer David Harper used Son-et-Lumiere installation and sound art pieces to project stunning light displays onto the walls of Lincoln Cathedral during a four-day residency at the historic venue.

Life by Luxmuralis proved a major hit, becoming the most popular event in the 950-year history of Lincoln Cathedral – with over 10,000 tickets sold across the four days.

The cinematic, immersive experience saw thousands of people get lost in the moving walls and atmospheric sounds of the project, which was described as a chance to “blend in” with the art.

Life by Luxmuralis announced itself in a big way at Lincoln Cathedral. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Speaking to The Lincolnite, the artist behind the astonishing Life by Luxmuralis exhibition, Peter Walker, discussed what the main themes of the installation were.

He said: “When we create light shows, it’s like an exhibition of multiple paintings. I pick artworks that are curated especially for that area.

“For Lincoln, the first one we used was dark and red with factory and chainsaw noises to reflect global warming, while the last was the turning earth and a butterfly flapping its wings.

“This was to highlight the impact of the butterfly effect, and show that every small change we do as individuals can have a major impact on the wider world.

“It’s also about the fragility of the planet we live in, but artwork itself is never descriptive, it’s always open to interpretation.

“Our mantra is that we look at the artwork we do in cathedrals like they are the stained glass windows of our time.

“Stained glass windows were designed to tell stories in a creative and bright way, but nowadays we don’t collectively view them the same way because of how fast-moving our world is.”

Each section of the cathedral serves as a different aspect of the installation’s overall message, with moving patterns and beams of colour dominating your surroundings. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Luxmuralis has been David and Peter’s collaboration since around 2005, when they both joined forces to explore ways to make artwork more interactive, innovative and accessible to the public.

They have known each other for over 30 years, and their Luxmuralis project has seen them bring touring installations across all four corners of the United Kingdom.

Plans are now also in place for Life by Luxmuralis to be displayed in Canada and the United States, as well – but their work in Lincoln fit the heritage and culture of the city, says Peter.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“We have always been advocates of art and culture, especially in a place like Lincoln where you feel the richness of the heritage.

“Art is prescriptive, it allows you to stand in a space and receive an emotional feeling, that is something Lincoln Cathedral has done for hundreds of years.

“A lot of dark things are thrown at us in the news because there is a lot of darkness in the world, but the arts allow us to not only have out-of-body experiences, but also take ownership of your feelings.

“It is truly all about the emotional feeling you get from it.”

The jaw-dropping installation ran until Saturday, February 18. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Given the current narrative around lack of funding for the arts sector at present, Peter has highlighted the importance of a connection to art, and proper financial backing from the government.

The Local Government Association issued a report last year suggesting that there was a £2.4 billion funding gap in the arts and creative sector.

Peter argues: “Art is as good for the soul as it is for the economy. Just think of how many people went to shops or pubs before or after going to see [Life by Luxmuralis]?

“Arts are underfunded and under resourced, and that is such a shame because the sector holds some of the greatest creatives on the planet.

“It’s about bringing something vivid back to towns and cities, Lincoln feels like it could have major national art initiatives in the future, with the right investment and approach it could be a wonderful city for the arts.”

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lastly, the question we all want the answer for: Will Life by Luxmuralis be coming back to Lincoln Cathedral?

“Let’s just say we’ve had very positive conversations, and hope to be back in Lincoln in the near future.

“We want to say a huge thank you to Lincoln Cathedral for having the vision to do it, but also taking the risk on us.

“They didn’t know what it would be like until we put it up in the cathedral, and we are delighted to see it had an impact on the community.”

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