The Eden Project At Night: Shadows and Light

Eden Project has transformed into an enchanted landscape of colour, light and sound!

Just before the end of last year, we payed a visit to the Eden Project. If you haven’t heard about this place before, let us tell you before anything else that it’s pretty magic! You should definitely check it out!

The Eden Project is an educational charity that supports a wide range of transformational projects and learning programmes, connecting us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future.

Located in Cornwall, UK, The Eden Project is nestled inside a huge crater. Here, massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to the striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events.

Offering an all-new after-dark experience this Christmas, Eden was transformed into an ever-changing landscape of shadows and light.

An immersive light spectacular

Your journey began on the viewing platform where pockets of glowing colour, dancing lights, and festive music beckoned you down towards the Biomes. Playful light sculptures  and giant lights rippled and simmered across the slopes of the Outdoor Gardens.

The Eden Project: A Magical Rainforest

The Rainforest Biome explored different tropical zones of colour and light, shifting and changing in reaction to tropical weather patterns. Near the twinkling Malaysian hut one could see shimmering jars with a magical secret, and hear festive stories from the past, present and future. An extremely atmospheric and beautiful evening experience!

Renegade & Silent Studios ‘Echoes’ The Weather-Makers, 2018  Light and sound

The Rainforest Biome was filled with mist and haze. Saturated coloured light creates an environment where visitors find their perception transformed by the colourful fog.

The coloured light and deconstructed choral soundscape were manipulated by an algorithm that uses the weather data from four real-world rainforests to represent a year-in-the-life of these incredible Weather Makers. With the environment in a continual state of flux, the transient light, colour and mist mimic the weather conditions at the rainforest locations. Precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind speed and cloud cover all influence the light and the soundscape.

The McGuires – Jam Jar Fairies, 2014 – Video sculpture

The sculptural installation Jam Jar Fairies, which was originally commissioned and developed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, is a magical installation using film projections and sound to create a beautiful display of fairies that have been trapped in jam jars and are trying to escape their glass cages.

Renegade – Wishing Beacon, 2018 – Light

A Christmas wishing beacon occupied the centre of the Biome, encouraging visitors to think about Christmas and their wishes for the future.

The Eden Project: A musical garden by night

The Mediterranean Biome was where the live music and impromptu performance set the tempo. Here you could wander through a glowing laser forest, and explore an Antarctic garden by night, glittering with frost and ice.

The Big Bang Brass performed classic Christmas hits from the Great American Songbook  and each evening of Shadows and Light included performances by one of the following three artists in the Mediterranean Biome:

  • The Opera Singers with a variety of winter and Christmas songs from Puccini to Irving Berlin and everywhere in between.
  • The Cornwall Quartet are a string quartet that performed an array of music, from well-known classical pieces to covers of pop, rock, jazz, folk and film music.
  • The Simon Latarche Duo performed a selection of Christmas-themed swing and bossa nova melodies, including traditional carols and more recent festive tunes.

Marshmallow Laser Feast – Laser Forest / Light

‘Forest’ is a large interactive musical laser installation. Commissioned by and premiered at the STRP Biennale in Eindhoven, this giant interactive forest covers almost 450 square metres and is composed of over 150 musical ‘trees’ made of rods and lasers. The audience can freely explore the space, physically tapping, shaking, plucking, and vibrating the trees to trigger sounds and lasers. Due to the natural springiness of the material, interacting with the trees causes them to swing and oscillate, creating vibrating patterns of light and sound. Each tree is tuned to a specific tone, creating harmonious sounds spatialized and played through a powerful surround sound setup.

Silent Studios – Permafrost, 2018 / Video projections and sound

Australia and South Africa zones of the Mediterranean Biome had a subsurface layer of permafrost going through the trees creating a harsh but beautiful winterscape – but also highlighting the impact of climate change.

Your journey ended in the Core, home to Invisible Worlds, where colour, lights and music combined in a festive celebration – and created a stunning backdrop to the awe-inspiring sculpture, Infinity Blue. (Un) Fortunately for us, our battery died so we could just enjoy the experience without taking any pictures.

Renegade & Silent Studios – Twelve Part Winter, 2018 – Light and sound

At almost 9 metres tall, Infinity Blue by Studio Swine is the centrepiece to the Christmas installations for 2018. Here, Silent Studios re-appropriate the sculpture by adding a 12-piece ‘choir’ made from loudspeakers circling Infinity Blue. Drawing from the iconic traditional British folk Christmas carol ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ a sound bed of choral vocal parts and an elemental winter soundscape is divided and played through 12 individual speaker sculptures, immersing guests in an elaborate celebration of life at the darkest time of the year, when it may seem like spring will never return.

This master soundscape was deconstructed and presented throughout the site in various playful light and sound installations.

The Eden Project final few days of Shadows and Light took place between 5pm and 8pm 27-30 December. It was free with the Eden admission (or if you had a Pass or Membership) and no booking was required. It was part of Christmas at Eden, until 30 December.

Most of the light installations were inside the Biomes, so you could enjoy the experience all warmed up even if it was raining. However, there were some interesting things going on outside too:

Illumaphonium – Halo / Light and sound: a magical multi-sensory sculpture that engages sight, sound and touch with interlinked columns of colour, as you joined others in a spontaneous music making experience; and Renegade – Light Wave, 2018 / Light: a twinkling light; shining brightly and fading. It rippled outward to the surrounding trees; finally reaching the trees and the rock face.

Source: The Eden Project

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