Trip the Light Fantastic, Jane Watt, 2010, Archway, LB Islington, London. An Alight commission by AIR at Byam Shaw School of Art, University of the Arts London (UAL), in partnership with Islington Council. Photo: Byam Shaw and the artist.
Alight is a long-term series of temporary and participatory artworks that explore, reveal and animate Archway town centre with light. Alight has been developed, and is being delivered, through a partnership between an art school, and the local Council. Jane Watt’s Trip the Light Fantastic is the second commission in the series.
Jane's research into the demolished Gresham Ballroom led her to discover a deep-seated enthusiasm for dancing by many Archway residents, workers and students. The artist photographed over two hundred local people dancing in their offices, shops, living rooms and dance classes, and then installed forty large-scale translucent photographs of these Archway dancers in office and shop windows in the area. At night the images glowed from ambient light emanating from within the buildings. Alongside these photographs three simple beams of pink light were located in some of Archway's darkest corners. Local dancers, groups and passers-by were invited to perform in these magical spotlights in six public events that include tango lessons, street dance performances, and a disco. The lights remained on each winter evening inviting spontaneous and often poignant performances from passers by. Alight is funded by Transport for London, Islington Council (North Area Committee and Recession Fund), Arts Council England Grants for the Arts scheme, with in-kind funding from UAL and Islington Council.
‘I love dancing and have been doing it all my life. It keeps me young.’ Local resident
For more information see the full case study
Other details at the AIR website