For 17 nights the waterfront will be transformed into a free illuminated outdoor art gallery

The popular River of Light art trail will return to Liverpool this autumn, featuring a mix of brand new, never-before-seen commissions as well as existing artworks which haven’t been on display in the city before. 

River of Light is officially an autumn staple and we’re delighted to announce the trail is back this year.

The theme of this year’s free event is Unexpected Twist in a nod to the World Gymnastics Championships 2022 which is taking place in the city during the same period. 

Evanescent River Of Light Liverpool Things To Do 2022
Evanescent is one of this year’s River of Light installations Image: HQ Images

For 17 nights, from Friday 21 October until Sunday 6 November, the waterfront will be transformed into a free illuminated outdoor art gallery. Ten artworks from a host of local, national and international artists will be on display along a 2km route in the fifth edition of River of Light.

Full details of all ten pieces, the artists and their locations will be unveiled next month, but to whet people’s appetite the team behind the trail has announced the first two pieces.

BEAM

A brand new commission by the acclaimed Lucid Creates (artists Helen Swan and Chris Carr) will see a beam of light transport visitors to a hot, summer’s day, accompanied by the sounds of the British countryside. But after several minutes the feeling of peace and warmth will change to unease and suspense… 

Located at Canning Graving Dock, opposite Museum of Liverpool, the artists behind the work are no strangers to River of Light and have previously showcased large-scale artworks including 2021’s incredibly popular Dance Together – a huge tribute to the legendary nightclub Chibuku.

Evanescent

A series of giant bubbles will take over Exchange Flags courtesy of Australian artists Atelier Sisu. The immersive sound and light structure will react to visitors as they explore the artwork, depicting the transient nature of human existence. It has already been showcased in locations including Taiwan, the USA, Greece and Australia.

River Of Light The Pool Artist Jen Lewin Chavasse Park
'The Pool' by Jen Lewin was popular in Chavasse Park last year Image: Confidentials

November 2021’s River of Light event was hailed as the most successful to date, with around 150,000 visitors enjoying the festival. 

Councillor Harry Doyle, Liverpool City Council's cabinet member for Culture and Visitor Economy, said, "River of Light is officially an autumn staple and we’re delighted to announce the trail is back this year in all its illuminated glory.

"This is our fifth year of staging this popular outdoor art gallery, but each year it has evolved – locations have been tweaked, different installations have been introduced and each time we work with new artists from all over the world who are aware of the event’s high-calibre reputation and want to be part of it which is a huge coup.

"And this year’s trail comes at an incredibly busy and exciting time for the city – the World Gymnastics Championships 2022 will be taking over the M&S Arena and will act as the inspiration for this year’s River of Light instalment. And the eyes of the art world will already be on the city as Tate Liverpool plays host to The Turner Prize.

"Clearly Liverpool is the place to be this autumn."

River of Light is supported by Arts Council England. To get the latest information head to Visit Liverpool.

Cover image: 'Dance Together' in Canning Dock, 2021, © Confidentials