World premiere of Luminarium Albesila at Wheee! 2017
Albesila – at Nottingham Lakeside Arts from Monday 29 May – Sunday 4 June
From the Guggenheim in Spain to the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the monumental and interactive walk-in sculptures of Architects of Air, designed by Alan Parkinson, have delighted audiences across the globe for 25 years. Architects of Air have toured the luminaria since 1992 in 43 countries welcoming over 3 million visitors at more than 600 exhibitions across 5 continents.
Each luminarium is a monument to the beauty of light and colour, offering a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes inspired by Islamic and Gothic architecture. It’s an experience which awakens all the senses, creating a sense of wonder and enchantment for all ages as visitors are immersed in a unique sensory experience.
2017 sees a spectacular new Luminarium from Architects of Air, with Wheee! visitors in Nottingham being the first to set foot inside brand new Albesila in its world premiere at Lakeside. Half the size of a football pitch and almost 9 metres at its highest point, this 25th anniversary sculpture takes a fresh approach to the creation of the labyrinth. Visitors will experience a greater sense of space when moving from one colour to another through its 27 quadraxial eggs while observing the beautiful receding ellipses, and a towering grand dome patterned with 288 stars.
Alan Parkinson, Founder, director and designer says: ‘I’m excited to share Albesila for the very first time at the Wheee! Festival in Nottingham. The public complete the creation of the luminarium by bringing themselves inside; by the way they inhabit the structure. It shouldn’t be a solitary experience – sharing the space, seeing how others move within it, how the light transforms them is intrinsic to the experience.’
Alan Parkinson’s involvement with inflatable structures began on a Nottingham community project in 1981. He designed and built his first luminarium in 1985, with the help of Probation Service offenders. In 1990 he created ‘Eggopolis’ which was the first of his luminaria to be shown outside Nottinghamshire. In 1992 the community project closed down and Architects of Air was formed.
Since Alan’s first creation Eggopolis, over 25 Luminaria have been designed and built by the team in the Nottingham workshop at the Oldknows Factory on Egerton Street, and lovingly cared for by the Architects of Air team of touring Exhibition Managers based around the world. There are 7 spectacular structures currently touring the globe.
Alan Parkinson says: ‘I do what I do because when I go in the structures I experience the same thing now that I experienced 25 years ago when I built my first luminarium – and that is the sense of being touched by the beauty of the phenomenon of light. It’s a simple thing but I think a sense of wonder is a precious thing and worth sharing.’
Photo credit: Alan Fletcher