'Labyrinth of colour and light' set for The Beacon as part of 'world first' for Inverclyde's Meliora Festival

A “labyrinth of colour and light” is set to be installed in Greenock this summer outside the Beacon Arts Centre as part of a world first during an arts and culture weekend coinciding with Inverclyde’s Meliora Festival.

A giant sculpture, known as The Luminarium, will allow visitors to journey through winding paths and domes of light and colour, accompanied by calming sounds and music.

The designed by Architects of Air founder Alan Parkinson, will be at the Beacon from Friday, June 17, to Sunday, June 19, as the venue hosts a weekend of Meliora Festival events.

The Beacon will be the first location in the world to use Architects of Air’s new Aboria II structure.

Luminarium by Architects of Air will be coming to Greenock

Meliora Festival, which will be run for the first time in 2022, aims to bring communities together following the Covid pandemic with a host of events taking place across Inverclyde.

The Beacon’s weekend will see Scottish Opera performances, aerial dance and circus skills workshops taking place, as well as street theatre productions, and music from local bands.

Pauline Kane, director of Beacon Arts Centre, said: “Meliora Festival promises to be truly special summer event for Inverclyde and we are delighted to be hosting an entertaining and fun-filled arts and culture weekend for all the family as part of it.

“The centrepiece of the weekend will be our Luminarium installation, which will allow people to enjoy a magical and unique experience as they spend time inside its labyrinth of colour and light.

Meliora Festival aims to bring communities together following the Covid pandemic

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“It’s a world first for Inverclyde. It’s a new design and it will be seen first here. It’s shining a light on everything Inverclyde has to offer.”

On the festival itself, she said: “We always aim to have something for everyone and we have taken the same approach when planning this festival and there are over 50 performances in three days.

"Inverclyde has lots to offer and The Beacon’s location on the riverfront is truly spectacular.

"When you see people coming and sitting watching events such as the opera, in the spectacular location it is a very special experience.”

Ms Kane added: “We had a mini-festival planned last year and had planned some outdoor activities – and I think it was the only day it rained last year, so we still haven’t had the chance to do a festival outside, so it’s very much a first for us.”

Speaking on the importance of a return to theatre, and arts and culture being part of the Meliora Festival after the Covid pandemic, Ms Kane said: “It feels special. It’s so important for people to come together and have that shared experience.”

The festival, with its name inspired by the motto on Inverclyde’s crest – ‘Meliora semper prospicimus’, meaning to look forward to better things – incorporates a host of arts and culture events from Gourock Highland Games to the Clyde Comedy Festival, which will include big-name acts such as Elaine C Smith and Ed Byrne performing at the Beacon.

The weekend also coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Waverley paddle steamer’s maiden voyage, with visitors able to sail from Glasgow to Greenock arriving at Custom House Quay outside the Beacon.

While the festival is mostly free, the Luminarium is ticketed. More details on the festival can be found here.

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