News: Surtal Arts presents Virtulight

Surtal Arts launches Virtulight - a digital ‘augmented reality’ project as part of this years’ Festival of Light. 

This special 12-point city light trail features art inspired by Derby’s key historical and cultural points, including Derby Cathedral, Westfield, and Joseph Wright’s painting - The Alchymist.

Taking inspiration from Derby’s annual Festival of Light lantern parade, Surtal Arts has been working with artist Ashok Mistry to develop a trail of virtual 3D light sculptures around Derby, which can be viewed using smartphones and tablet devices. The artworks use augmented reality via an app (Layar) to come alive in key spots around the city.

Virtulights' series of site-specific artworks explore how people regard, interact with, and use light through these unique playful sculptures in the public realm. The light sculptures form a trail through Derby, with the City Trail starting at QUAD and taking in key historical points in the city centre, and the Cultural Trail exploring places of cultural significance in Normanton. The light trail is accompanied by a specially commissioned soundscape by bamboo flutist Waqas Choudhary.

The project launches on Friday 26th October at QUAD Derby, with live dance and musical performances by Nisha Nath and the Javvani Group, and Waqas Choudhary.

Gopa Nath, Artistic Director of Surtal Arts said:

“Whilst the Festival of Light has become an annual fixture in Derby’s arts and cultural calendar, we have broken with tradition this year, and gone digital for the very first time. We are very excited about Virtulight, which explores how we understand and interact with the ephemeral presence of light through culture, philosophy and technology. Featuring some of Derby’s seminal attractions, we would like people to take the opportunity to see these places in a somewhat different light. It is a ground breaking arts installation in Derby, and we hope people enjoy viewing it as much as we have creating it”.

Virtulight has been produced by Surtal Arts, in association with QUAD Derby; and supported by Arts Council England and Derby City Council. The exhibition is on between 27 October 2012 to 3 February 2013, with the full trail map, vantage points and further information available at Virtulight.info or from Surtal Arts on 01332 294333.