Tour Shares Stories of Sanctuary Seekers to Reunite Us After Isolation

Led by arts collective Squidsoup and ArtReach, Where There Is Light is an immersive sound and light installation sharing the voices and stories of sanctuary seeking communities from across the country, which will travel across the UK in 2021 to bring people together and encourage a sense of connection and hope.

Thanks to the involvement of artist Sameena Khan, Audio Producer Dimple Patel, Music Works and Composer Julian Bayliss, this artwork provides a truly poignant sensory experience exploring themes of light.

Since the pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, we hope to start to rebuild, reconnect and transform how communities connect in a time of isolation and loneliness. 

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, Where There is Light offers a beautiful moment, a break in people’s day-to-day lives with a space to look outside of themselves.

The artwork will tour across the UK in 2021 and partnerships with organisations like Hull’s Freedom Festival and Coventry City of Culture are excellent opportunities for the work to reach and uplift new audiences. 

 

The former is a festival born from Hull’s association with the abolitionist movement, themes of empowerment, activism and the potential of community and the latter will be a momentous occasion in the cultural calendar as the Midlands city celebrates culture and communities in 2021. Indeed, 2021 also marks the first year Halton has hosted the Borough of Culture in an effort to increase participation in high quality arts activity, helping more people benefit from the vital role culture can play in improving health and wellbeing, uniting communities, inspiring creativity and supporting learning.

The work will also tour to Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth as part of Journeys Festival International.  

This is particularly exciting as ArtReach has been working in partnership with Squidsoup to develop and lead the outreach activity. From an outreach framework developed and led by Sameena Khan, a Leicester based practitioner trained in play therapy, ArtReach worked with community groups and charities in Leicester, Coventry, Hull and Portsmouth to connect with sanctuary seekers from all four cities and explore the theme of light.

Leicester’s creative workshops were led by Alexandros Plasatis, a local writer and ethnographer while writer and artist, Laura Nyahuye led sessions with the Coventry group. Practitioner and filmmaker Peter Snelling led workshops in Hull and in Portsmouth, textile artist Maria Tarn delivered textile workshops. 

This in-depth work enriches the final narratives in the installation as the soundscape shares voices from residents in Leicester and Portsmouth with Audio Producer Dimple Patel capturing and editing conversations with participants about the theme of light before a bespoke soundscape was created by Music Works and composer Julian Bayliss.

Outreach work will continue and efforts will ensure the installation remains COVID secure, but for Squidsoup who were using digital technologies to create immersive experiences, this project has further allowed them to expand their experience of delivering community led projects and working with local community groups and artists.

Audiences in Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth will be able to enjoy an uplifting immersive experience between 15th – 24th October.