17th Jan, 2020

Where Light Falls: Coventry Cathedral illuminated in honour of forgotten Blitz heroes who fought to save medieval building

Catherine Vonledebur 18th Nov, 2019 Updated: 18th Nov, 2019

MORE than 16,000 people braved rain and flooding across the region to witness the “stunning” after-dark outdoor light installation, Where Light Falls, at Coventry Cathedral.

Historic England’s memorable project used light and poetry to tell the story of individuals who risked their lives to preserve the city’s medieval cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral in the Second World War over three nights last week.

Ellen Harrison, Historic England’s head of public programming, said: “We were delighted the people of Coventry turned out in force to enjoy Where Light Falls over three nights, despite the rainy weather. We had 16,000 visit the light installation, gathering in the magnificent ruins of the old cathedral to pay tribute to the past, present and future of the city.”

Free 20 minute performances were played on a loop between 5pm and 9pm marking the 79th anniversary of the Blitz, from Thursday November 14 – Saturday November 17.

The dean of Coventry, John Witcombe, said: “Where Light Falls is a stunning installation which invites the people of Coventry to look at their own cathedral in a beautiful new light.

“The projections on the massive walls and tower are awe-inspiring – I’m sure all our visitors were overwhelmed by the way that the Historic England and Double Take Projections teams have captured the history and emotion of our incredible city, capturing and conveying not just the tragedy of loss but overwhelmingly the hope of a new future – Coventry’s story of hope rebuilt again and again from the rubble of destruction, a gift for a world which is looking for peace.”

Historic England worked with the Poetry Society and leading creatives Double Take Projections to project powerful poetry, visuals and photography on the exterior of the historic cathedral ruins.

Jane Commane’s poem In A New Light was brought to life through cutting-edge projections, incorporating innovative graphics and archive photography as it remembered the heroic efforts of individuals who risked their lives to save a building they loved.

She worked with local school children, older writers, refugees and migrants with lived experience of conflict, inviting them to respond to contemporary photographs and accounts of the Blitz.

The installation ran as part of the Coventry Peace Festival celebrating Coventry’s work as an international city of peace.

The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Coun Linda Bigham, who attended the event, described it as “a fitting way” to commemorate the Blitz and “honour the sacrifice of those who fought to preserve our iconic cathedral”.

In London around 7,770 people attended the sister Where Light Falls installation at St Paul’s Cathedral across four nights from Thursday October 24.

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