Mossley’s Light Festival – a Christmas like no other
Friday 21st October 2016 @ 15:42 by Adam Higgins
Community Mossley & Saddleworth News

Mossley is poised to light up for Christmas like never before with a festival first next month.

Mossley Light Festival is poised to transform the landscape with newly commissioned illuminated artists’ installations, a visual art exhibition at local train stations and an ambitious carnival-inspired lantern parade like no other.

Two handmade four-metre-high animatronic peacocks will lead the after-dark procession which will start at 6.30pm on Thursday, November 24.

The one-night spectacle will culminate in the town’s Christmas lights switch on in market square.

Parade producer Leon Patel of Global Grooves said: “Mossley is an incredible and creative place with a long and continuing history of arts and artists.

“This is the first year of a new annual festival for Mossley which we hope will not only bring light to the heart of the community, but encourage new people to the town to witness the spectacle and appreciate all we have to offer.”

Other visual highlights of the moving menagerie will include whirling Trinidadian devils and billowing ships’ masts plus oversized lit up animals.

The puppets and surrounding elements have been created during workshops with visiting international artists and the local community, including schools and older people’s groups.

To build on the excitement of the parade, five local artists have been commissioned to produce site specific after dark works for the town.

Melanie Robert’s illuminated White Mountain hare has its origins in deconstructed elements of traditional Indian clothing design.

The character will react with the environment and the audience using modern light technologies.

Gordon Banks’ Perpetual Variation sees one large revolving sphere inside another, reflecting and affecting the light from within.

Sculptor Mike Green, who has had work exhibited at Hampton Court Palace, is making a series of light sculptures along the parade route with silhouette screens lit by LED lights.

Anne Gilligan’s The Green Monster Gilly Wagon is part lantern, part fortune-teller’s caravan, part post box.

It promises to listen to and offer wise advice to parade goers of all ages.

Carnival artist and animator Chris Anderson of No Eyed Theatre will be producing a selection of large scale cleverly illuminated animal puppets for the parade. Chris’ work has featured at London’s Olympic park and for the past six years at the Manchester Day Parade.

For two weeks prior to the Festival, Mossley artist Chris Cyprus’ Northern Lights series will also be on display at stations between Mossley and Manchester Piccadilly, depicting night time scenes along the Northern rail network, including Mossley.

Global Grooves has worked with Bangdrum CIC, Mossley Town Council, Mossley Sports and Leisure Forum, The Vale, Tameside Council, Cabasa Carnival Arts, The Mayor’s Charity Committee, Mossley Town Team and Handmade Parade to bring the festival to the town.