Seven Nocturnal Rainbows

'Seven Nocturnal Rainbows for the English Lakes' is an art experience by Charles Monkhouse for Lakes Ignite 2016 (photo Dave White) One of the Seven Nocturnal Rainbows for the English Lakes by Charles Monkhouse, on Coniston Water for Lakes Ignite (photo Carl Whitham) Nocturnal Rainbow on Coniston for Lakes Ignite 2016 (photo Carl Whitham) One of the Seven Nocturnal Rainbows for the English Lakes by Charles Monkhouse, on Ullswater for Lakes Ignite (photo Carl Whitham) A Nocturnal Rainbow on Ullswater for Lakes Ignite 2016 (photo Carl Whitham) Penultimate Nocturnal Rainbow on Grasmere for Lakes Ignite 2016 Nocturnal Rainbow on Grasmere for Lakes Ignite 2016

Seven Nocturnal Rainbows For The English Lakes was a dramatic light installation, created by artist Charles Monkhouse, between 30 April – 6 May for Lakes Ignite 2016.

Inspired by the poets and artists of the Lake District – in particular JMW Turner’s famous painting ‘A Shower’, Buttermere – the rainbows appeared as the light faded each evening, becoming stronger as night took over from day. Each rainbow consisted of up to 250 floating LED units, each with its own GPS sensor that reacted to their location to create a gigantic spectrum as they travelled across the lakes. The exact motion of the lights was dependent on the wind, and each passage lasted approximately one to one and a half hours.

Seven Nocturnal Rainbows – a celebration of the English Lakes as a site for art both past and present.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Buttermere Lake, with Part of Cromackwater, Cumberland, a Shower, exhibited 1798 © Tate, London 2016
Joseph Mallord William Turner, Buttermere Lake, with Part of Cromackwater, Cumberland, a Shower, exhibited 1798 © Tate, London 2016

The commission was a highlight art experience for Lakes Ignite 2016, bringing alive the creative enthusiasm for the English Lakes by revisiting places that have enthralled earlier artists, particularly the painters of the Romantic and Picturesque periods. It tied together many of their formal elements: land and water, light and dark, rain and sun, garden and wilderness and the search for the perfect viewpoint with the practice of artists today.

The Lakes Ignite programme of evening ‘Rainbows’ visited three of the English Lakes in turn: Coniston Water, Ullswater and Grasmere between 30 April – 6 May.

Nocturnal Rainbow on Ullswater - Lakes Ignite 2016 (photo Carl Whitham)
Nocturnal Rainbow on Ullswater – Lakes Ignite 2016 (photo Carl Whitham)
Final Nocturnal Rainbow for the English Lakes on Grasmere for Lakes Ignite 2016 (photo Dave White)
Final Nocturnal Rainbow for the English Lakes on Grasmere for Lakes Ignite 2016 (photo Dave White)

 

'Seven Nocturnal Rainbows for the English Lakes' is an art experience by Charles Monkhouse for Lakes Ignite 2016 (photo Dave Thorburn)
‘Seven Nocturnal Rainbows for the English Lakes’ is an art experience by Charles Monkhouse for Lakes Ignite 2016 (photo Dave Thorburn)

// SEVEN NOCTURNAL RAINBOWS LOCATIONS

Locations: A map for Seven Nocturnal Rainbows is available to download at the bottom of the page
Time to be there: 20:45 to 21:00 – the best viewing time will be dependent on sunset and weather
What to bring: sensible footwear and clothing and a torch
Where to eat: discover great places to eat and drink on GoLakes

CONISTON: Saturday 30 April, Sunday 1 May & Monday 2 May 

// Viewpoint: Brantwood, Meadows Field
// Parking: Brantwood and Machell’s Coppice
// Refreshments: Coniston

ULLSWATER: Tuesday 3 May & Wednesday 4 May

// Viewpoint: Glencoyne Bay footpath/road
// Parking: Glencoyne Bay
// Refreshments: Glenridding

GRASMERE: Thursday 5 May & Friday 6 May

// Viewpoint: Near Daffodil Hotel & A591footpath
// Parking: Daffodil Hotel and Dove Cottage
// Refreshments: Dove Cottage Tea Rooms & Bistro

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Lakes Ignite 2016 – celebrating art and culture in the Lake District that sparks your imagination from 30 April – 22 May, was supported by United Utilities.

Featuring a programme of outstanding contemporary art experiences, Lakes Ignite 2016 was an eclectic celebration of artistic expression inspired by the stunning Lake District landscape, with a theme reflecting the region’s long and complex relationship with water in all its forms.

Lakes Ignite 2016 is supported by United Utilities
Lakes Ignite 2016 is supported by United Utilities

To enjoy these Lakes Culture events and much more, book your break in the Lake District here