Over the last few months Squidsoup have had the pleasure of working in partnership with ArtReach towards the creation of a new version of the artwork Where There Is Light. Having met a few years back at a light festival in Leicester this partnership has helped Squidsoup to develop new approaches to delivering work within a community setting. ArtReach has been the glue to this process and have supported Squidsoup in every aspect of development and delivery of this project.

First shown in Gloucester Cathedral in 2020, Where There Is Light is a light and sound installation with a powerful soundscape featuring accounts from sanctuary seeking communities. Created in partnership with Cheltenham Everyman Theatre, Music Works and Gloucester Refugee charity GARAS over 50,000 people visited the installation.

In a time of hatred and loss of compassion, to hear the stories and see the light is uplifting”.
“An all embracing and restorative experience. Something so beautiful”.
Feedback from audiences at Where There is Light Gloucester Cathedral

Where There Is Light 2020 Gloucester Cathedral Picture copyright Mikal Ludlow Photography

The success of Where There is Light led to the aspiration to create a new artwork with other communities from across the UK. A successful ACE grant led to the development of a national consortium of partners to support this project, International Journey’s Festival, Coventry City of Culture, Freedom Festival and Halton Borough of Culture.

The new version of Where There Is Light is an immersive sound and light installation sharing the voices and stories of sanctuary seeking communities from across the country. It asks questions about where we find light in our lives, in ourselves, in others and in the world around us. The soundscape draws on a series of interviews that took place online during lockdown, bringing groups and communities together. 

The soundscape was made collaboratively and remotely across borders in Leicester, Hull, Coventry and Portsmouth. ​ Led by the arts collective Squidsoup and ArtReach, together with artist Sameena Khan, Audio Producer Dimple Patel, Lee Chaos from The Music Works and Composer Julian Gregory Bayliss; with funding from Arts Council England, and partnerships with Freedom Festival, Coventry City of Culture, Halton Borough of Culture, Journeys Festival International and Timber Festival, this artwork provides a truly poignant sensory experience exploring themes of light.

With the pandemic continuing to impact our daily lives this work hopes to start to rebuild, reconnect and transform how communities connect in a time of isolation and loneliness. Where There Is Light offers a moment for reflection, a break in our day to day lives, a space to look outside of ourselves, to come together and share a sense of connection and hope.

This project has enabled us to develop a new model of working that uses our large-scale installation as inspiration for work in a community setting to share stories and different perspectives. We have developed new knowledge of what community engaged work can be in the public realm through the close collaboration with ArtReach and Sameena Khan who have broadened tour understanding of good practice.

Where There Is Light will be touring throughout 2021 to Timber Festival, Hull Freedom Festival, Halton Borough of Culture, Coventry City of Culture and the Journeys Festival International: Manchester, Leicester and Portsmouth.

ArtReach https://artreach.biz

The Music Works https://www.themusicworks.org.uk

Timber Festival https://timberfestival.org.uk

Hull Freedom Festival https://www.freedomfestival.co.uk

Halton Borough of Culture https://celebratehalton.co.uk

Coventry City of Culture https://coventry2021.co.uk

Journeys Festival International https://www.journeysfestival.com

Here you can read more about the outreach approach involved with the project and listen to a few snippets of the recordings captured in the workshops.