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Festival of Light Installations GLOW Opens With Global Rainbow

Created by Yvette Mattern, the light installation is an array of lasers beamed into the night sky in the pattern of a rainbow.

Festival of Light Installations GLOW Opens With Global Rainbow

Residents of Barking and Dagenham are being encouraged to keep an eye on their windows for light installations that will appear around the borough in April. The festival aims to illuminate the borough and, as lockdown begins to ease, share a message of hope and togetherness.

The festival opened on 2nd April with the London premiere of Global Rainbow. Created by Yvette Mattern, the light installation is an array of lasers beamed into the night sky in the pattern of a rainbow. It was projected from 2 - 5 April from the top of CU London, with reports it could be seen across East London and even as far as the World's End Estate in Chelsea. The installation has previously been seen recently in the UK in Edinburgh and Birmingham, launched the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in the Northeast and Northwest of England and Northern Ireland, and across the globe for the past decade. Global Rainbow is being presented by Creative Barking and Dagenham as part of Global Streets, a national project funded through Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants and managed by FESTIVAL.ORG.

Artistic Director of FESTIVAL.ORG Bradley Hemmings said, "FESTIVAL.ORG is delighted to be supporting Global Rainbow through its Arts Council funded Global Streets programme, as part of GLOW 2021 and the 100th year anniversary celebrations of the Becontree Estate. After long months of isolation I'm sure that this beautiful artwork will uplift people and live on in local memories for many years to come"

GLOW has been curated by the Creative Barking and Dagenham (CBD) Cultural Connectors. The festival has previously taken place at Eastbury Manor House, but this year will pop up around the borough for residents to discover when out on their evening walk or to spy from their windows. GLOW has been designed to be seen without need for congregation and is the first festival of 2021 in a London Borough hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

In addition to the artworks, creative activity packs have been distributed to over 40,000 children and young people so they can shine a light on their families and community while at home during the Easter holidays.

Previous GLOW Festivals at Eastbury Manor House have featured a rainbow array of illuminated projections, laser light shows, lanterns and fire gardens.

Yvette Mattern, Artist, said, "I am honoured that Creative Barking and Dagenham and Global Streets commissioned the Global Rainbow as a beacon of hope during these difficult and trying times. I hope my artwork brought a moment happiness and wonderment to Barking and Dagenham and helped mark the centenary of the historic Becontree Estate."

Melissa Lowndes, CBD Cultural Connector, said, "It seems fitting that Global Rainbow will appear in Barking and Dagenham as the country is starting to open up. The rainbow became a symbol of solidarity for key workers and the NHS last year but of course it also symbolises hope, dreams and solidarity through diversity. I hope Global Rainbow will become a visual embodiment of these ideas for all local residents and offers some light at the end of a dark winter."

Sule Shevket, CBD Cultural Connector, said, "GLOW has always been about bringing our diverse communities together to enjoy some light and a sense of hope. I am more excited about this year than ever before. After the last 12 months, we all needed a beacon of hope to brighten our way out of darkness. When planning GLOW, we been trying to figure out how to connect the communities of our borough through art, even though we were no longer able to meet face to face. I have to say I am very proud of all of us who were involved. We had to think outside of the box and together we have achieved something quite spectacular."

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: "I am delighted that many of the borough's residents and people beyond Barking and Dagenham were able to enjoy the Global Rainbow over the Easter weekend from the safety of their homes. The 'GLOW' light festival has captured an important message of hope for the future, beaming out of the Becontree Estate in its centenary year to be seen all over East London."

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