Liverpool’s River Of Light
– In Pictures


“River of Light is a tonic.” Pete Goodbody on the festival we need after a challenging twelve months…

One year after lockdown was imposed, Liverpool slowly emerges, with tiny steps to take a peek around the corner of what we remember it used to be like.

It would have been normal, having strolled around the 2km trail of light installations to have finished off the evening with a pizza at Casa Italia or a beer in, well, anywhere. But that’s to think we can jump back into the way it was, without looking. And, clearly, that’s not happening.

“This mini festival is both delight and gentle re-introduction”

But this mini festival of eleven light installations dotted around Pier Head, Mann Island, Liverpool One and Castle Street is both a delight and a gentle re-introduction to the point at which we all remember our last gig, or the last real get-together with mates.

River of Light is a tonic and one that we need after a challenging twelve months.


There’s the signature feature of the Rainbow Bridge – given pride of place outside the Museum of Liverpool and the Albert Dock. This is the one that made the TV and the Echo and everybody’s Facebook feeds. And rightly so. Programmed to display messages of hope and inspiration along with abstract patterns, colours and, of course a rainbow, it was an obvious star of the show.


But we also found more to keep us entertained. The Lantern Company’s All In The Balance was a mystical mobile of butterflies, grasses and stylised sunflowers that reflects the way in which we have taken our daily exercise and connected with our natural surroundings over the last year. Maybe not intellectually challenging in its interpretation, but it was keeping the crowds pleased.


Viktor Vicsek’s Talking Heads over the way in Liverpool One reminded us of a time when we could, indeed natter to each other at will, save these two were kept safely apart. Even robots need to keep their distance.


There is the lovely Slinky thing (End Over End), also in Liverpool One, some illuminated washing hanging up to dry on Castle Street, and a Moon in bondage (Ursula Lassos The Moon) in the churchyard at Our Lady and St Nicholas.


The illuminated walkway at Pier Head, called Futures, from Lucid Creates, seemed to deliver the message the hardest and, perhaps without its participants noticing. Illuminated pillars on either side of the path narrow as you get further in. The colours of the pillars change all the time. We change, our surroundings change. We just don’t always see it happening.


Although, perhaps, as with the Rainbow Bridge, maybe we can just about manage an argument that we do see change. After the twelve months we’ve had, it’s crucial.


Words and Pictures by Pete Goodbody

River of Light Continues until 5 April

Posted on 26/03/2021 by thedoublenegative