Oxford Road lit up in first-ever ‘corridor of light’ festival celebrating area’s cultural life

  • Three-night celebration takes place across Oxford Road showcasing language, light and art
  • Event includes newly-commissioned artworks, poetry, music and stunning installations across the area

The Corridor of Light festival took place at the weekend on Oxford Road boasting an array of shining installations celebrating the area’s artistic and cultural life.

The festival, a celebration of Oxford Road’s Corridor, aimed to “bring life to the corridor’s unique constellation of knowledge and culture, championing the area’s change-makers – both past and present”.

The festival opened with the unveiling of a poem and three-metre-high light sculpture, Recovery Poems, by artists Deanna Rodger and Robert Montgomery.

The poem reflects on loss and the impacts of lockdown, and positive changes in the future.

Its unveiling was accompanied by a live performance from LGBTQ+ choir, The Sunday Boys, in the reading room of Manchester Poetry Library, as well as a live poetry performance of Made in Manchester, creating a powerful atmosphere.

Other installations included immersive sound and light installation, Where There is Light, by award-winning artist collective Squidsoup.

The piece was installed in the Holy Name Church, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary.

The installation shared the voices and stories of asylum seekers, questioning where people find light in their lives and presenting the struggles refugees face.

The public was encouraged to go inside the light installation for an immersive experience.

Another piece commissioned appeared on the bridge above Booth Street East. Everything Up In The Air was created by artist, writer and artistic director of world-renowned performance group Forced Entertainment, Tim Etchells. The piece asks people to think about the present moment.

Speaking to the Northern Quota, Tim said: “There is something so literal and straightforward about Everything Up in The Air being up in the air and yet it does open up a metaphorical space.

“It interested me to think about right now and to announce it as an idea, what if everything is up in the air? What if we could make different decisions starting now?”.

Tim said the reaction has been extremely positive: “There’s something about when you live in a city and maybe travel the same routes every day and seeing a space get reinvented or reimagined by an artwork in that way.

“I think it’s quite rich and people respond to it really well”.

He will present two pieces of artwork in Durham this year at the Lumiere Festival between 18 and 21 November.