Surtal Arts lights the way with cultural trail through the city
SURTAL Arts is taking a leap into the digital age by introducing a hi-tech project into its Festival of Light celebrations.
Virtulight – a digital "augmented reality" project – is a 12-point city light trail, created to feature art which is based on Derby's key historical and cultural points, including Derby Cathedral, Royal Crown Derby, a temple and a mosque.
Taking inspiration from the city's annual Festival of Light lantern parade, Surtal Arts has been working with artist Ashok Mistry to develop the trail. It consists of numerous virtual 3D light sculptures around Derby, which can be viewed using smartphones and tablet devices. The artworks use augmented reality via an app (Layar) to come alive in key spots around the city.
The light sculptures form a trail through Derby – the City trail starts at Quad and takes in key historical points around the city centre, while the Culture trail explores places of cultural and religious significance in Normanton. The light trail is also accompanied by a specially commissioned soundscape by bamboo flutist Waqas Choudhary.
The project is launched next Friday at Quad, with live dance and musical performances by Nisha Nath, the Javvani Group and Waqas Choudhary.
Gopa Nath, artistic direct of Surtal Arts, says: "The Festival of Light has become an annual fixture in Derby's arts and cultural calendar and we have gone digital for the very first time.
"We are very excited about Virtulight, which explores how we understand and interact with the ephemeral presence of light through culture, philosophy and technology. Featuring some of Derby's seminal attractions, we hope people take the opportunity to see these places in a somewhat different light."
The exhibition continues until February 3. The full trail map is available at www.virtulight.info or from Surtal Arts on 01332 294333.