New artworks to mark lights out festival for World War One centenary

Centenary memorial of World War One

Today, 4th August, businesses are invited to take part in a nationwide lights out festival to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War. Candlelit vigils will be held across Britain in a shared moment of reflection between 10pm and 11pm this evening.

Artists have been commissioned to create public artworks in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales for the ceremony.

International artists

Turner Prize winner, Jeremy Deller has created a free downloadable app which will reveal a 60 minute film, available for just one hour to mark the exact time that Britain entered WWI.

Four leading international artists have been commissioned to create public artworks in Edinburgh, Bangor, Belfast and London.

Bombay-based artist Nalini Malani will present a large-scale video installation, commissioned by the Edinburgh Art Festival, projected onto the outside of the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.

In Wales, visual artist Bedwyr Williams has created a large-scale light and sound installation which will be presented at the site of the WWI North Wales Memorial Arch.

Bob and Roberta Smith’s new artwork will use thousands of candles to spell out a statement that will take over the lawn in the grounds of Belfast’s City Hall.

In London, a secret project will be unveiled this evening.

Nationwide event 

The inspiration for the lights out festival comes from the words attributed to foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey on the eve of the conflict: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” Britain declared war on Germany the next day.

Millions of people are expected to take part in the initiative. Hundreds of local authorities, national organisations, landmarks including the Houses of Parliament and Blackpool Tower, parish councils and places of worship are set to turn off the lights.

For more information about the cultural programme and Lights Out events in your local area click here.

Has your business made any plans to mark the centenary? Tell us how by leaving a comment below. 

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