illuminate Plymouth Barbican and Sutton Harbour

This year’s illuminate light festival has expanded into a multi site festival were audiences are invited to discover additional installations at the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and Mount Edgcumbe Country Park as well as enjoying a wealth of stunning installations at the Royal William Yard.

Expect to see stunning light-based art installations, interactive displays and light projections. The event is FREE, open to all ages, you can enjoy the festival from 28th November – 1st December from 5:30pm each evening.

illuminate is a signature event in the Mayflower 400 programme and connects the partner destinations across the UK and internationally. Now in it’s third year, Illuminate will open the Mayflower 400 commemorations in November 2019 during Thanksgiving and close them in November 2020.

Here on the Barbican and in the waters of Sutton Harbour, we have five light installations to look forward to. Here’s a preview of what’s to come…

Curio – TRIGGER STUFF – Savinder Bual and Elena Blanco
Location: Opposite the Tourist Information Centre

Curio is an alternative museum featuring stories and objects contributed by residents from the area related to the idea of home. It is a light installation which allows curious passersby to peer into doors and discover stories from our neighbours.

Signis – Mike Cobb, Highly Interactive
Location: By Commercial Wharf (near The Boathouse Cafe)

Signal Lamps have been used by the Royal Navy since the late 1800’s to send messages between vessels. SIGNIS is a modern interpretation that combines the beauty and nostalgia of maritime style fixtures and soft golden light with contemporary ideas of pixelated displays and animated gifs.

SIGNIS will invite visitors to participate by designing their own messages, patterns and animations using their mobile device. Submissions will be broadcast to the festival crowds over a spectacular array of lights.

Her Voices – The Media Workshop
Location: Elizabethan Gardens (access via New Street)

Her Voices is a new immersive event in Barbican’s Elizabethan Gardens, inviting visitors to “eavesdrop” on rarely-told women’s stories from across Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall. Participants journey through a delicate display of fibre optics and LEDs providing an ephemeral physicality to voices rising from hidden speakers around the gardens.

The installation features recordings celebrating both women’s great achievements and inequalities still apparent today. Voices range from Plymouth’s Lady Nancy Astor, the first female sitting MP to Cornish fishworkers and North Devon farmers. It is a meditation on who we are, how we got here and where we are going.

Baitball  The Media Workshop
Location: Between The Parade and Quay Road (by The Ship Pub)

Operating over the harbour itself, with a durational video projected onto a water screen in the harbour between The Parade and Quay Road from Friday 29th November until Sunday 1st December. The audience will be asked to reflect on what is beneath the surface of our ocean with an iconic visual showing the formation of a ‘baitball’ of sardines over the water. Head to the harbour’s edge outside The Ship for an optimum viewing area

Porthole to Plymouth
Location: Near The Boathouse Cafe

Showing on the festival app located near The Boathouse Cafe, but a bit of a mystery, no details released as yet.

Be sure to check the official website and the app which offers a handy interactive map and features to help you navigate around.

Official Festival Website:
Official illuminate app: