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TMCNet:  Bright light balls to travel down river for new art project [Derby Evening Telegraph (England)]

[June 09, 2014]

Bright light balls to travel down river for new art project [Derby Evening Telegraph (England)]

(Derby Evening Telegraph (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) HUNDREDS of lights will cascade down the River Derwent later this year - as part of one of the largest art projects ever commissioned in the county.

And people living in towns and villages near the water will be partially able to remotely control the balls of light, under the Derwent Pulse project.

During October and early November, up to a thousand of the spheres will flow all the way from the river's source near Bleaklow to its mouth at the River Trent, in Shardlow.

They will move from Bleaklow, by Ladybower, through Bamford, Hathersage and Grindleford to Chatsworth estate.

The lights will then travel south, contributing to the Matlock Bath Illuminations.

They will then move past the mills in Belper and head to Derby, before meeting the Trent at Shardlow.


Mark Suggitt, director of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site - which commissioned the project - said, for some of the journey, the lights would be accompanied by "electric parades of people with glowing costumes on".

He said one venue for this could be Matlock Bath. And Mr Suggitt said people living by the Derwent would get the chance to help move the lights along, photograph the project and "help record its legacy".

The lights in the spheres are controlled by small circuit boards designed at Derby's Silk Mill by artist Charles Monkhouse, with the help of volunteers.

Each light contains a miniature computer, GPS module and radio transmitter and receiver, so they can be partially-controlled remotely. Mr Suggitt said it would "provide a fascinating spectacle". He said: "It's the biggest commission we have attempted and proves how the past can be a source for artistic inspiration." A spokesman for the Derwent Pulse project said: "Each passage of lights will be shepherded by local schools and riverside communities. "Ramblers and walkers will navigate the lights through mountains, schools will form electric parades beside the river, canoe clubs and swimmers will accompany the lights in the water, rowers at Belper will serenade them in the River Gardens and the heartbeats of Derby's Silk Mill visitors will synchronise with their pulse." Most of the funding for the project came from Arts Council for England. It will run from October 8 to November 5. chris.mallett@derbytelegraph.co.uk DO YOU LIKE THE ARTS PROJECT? Have a say at derbytelegraph.co.uk (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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