The Unfolding: Bristol Light Festival

Bristol Light Festival is returning to the city from this Friday 2nd - Sunday 11th February, with more spectacular installations set to dazzle and delight. The annual festival celebrating light and art is set to offer 10 days of interactive and immersive light installations, which will be illuminated every evening between 5-10pm.

The final two, vastly different installations have been announced, and are designed to respond to their locations. One is set to adorn one of Bristol’s most iconic landmarks, and the other is a bold statement of what Bristolians already know; that coming to Bristol is always a good idea.

The ruins of Temple Church will be magically illuminated in this new work for Bristol Light Festival, set to a soundtrack of the title track from Mercury and Emmy-nominated Hannah Peel’s No. 1 Classical Chart Album, which was written for and featuring Bristol’s own Paraorchestra.

With a lighting team led by Alex Keighley from industry-leading events company, SLX, The Unfolding will invite audiences to look up into the space above them. The soundscape by Hannah Peel and Paraorchestra will create ameditative experience, while onlookers watch beams of light gently move to the music, to reveal a canopy above them, bringing the building, which is cared for by the charity English Heritage, to life through light.

Katherine Jewkes said: The Unfolding will be a multi-sensory experience leaving visitors feeling serene, offering a moment of peace and reflection. Each of the installations at this year’s festival are selected to conjure a different feeling for visitors, or to invite a different reaction. While many of the pieces are bolder and louder in their approach to light, The Unfolding contrasts this, using multiple senses to create a calmer atmosphere in an otherwise vivid experience. I’m delighted that Hannah Peel and Paraorchestra have allowed us the opportunity to showcase their music in this new and beautiful way.”

Alex Keighley, SLX said: The Unfolding is going to be a spectacular addition to Bristol Light Festival. One of the big inspirations behind the lighting and design of the installation was Temple Church and the Templar era of this sacred site, so we’ve included in the design-projected circles that were made popular during this time. The venue is so inspiring, and as we are a Bristol-based company, it’s great to be doing something so special in our hometown and to be part of such an exciting event.”

Jonathan Harper, Chief Executive of Paraorchestra, said: “Paraorchestra is proud of its Bristol base and the relationship we have with audiences, artists and partners across the city. This means we were delighted to be approached for this project. To hear Hannah Peel and Paraorchestra’s track The Unfolding recontextualised alongside this installation by Alex Keighley in the serenity of Temple Church ought to be a very special experience for visitors to the Bristol Light Festival.”

The Unfolding at Temple Church ruins as part of Bristol Light Festival, 2024

Bristol is always a Good Idea is inspired by the work of Dave Buonaguidi, better known as Real Hackney Dave. Dave is a Hackney-based artist, combining the visual and verbal language of advertising and propaganda with unique imagery and materials to create predominantly language-based pieces of art.

The phrase ‘Bristol is always a Good Idea’ invites visitors as well as residents into the city centre, to engage with the streets in a new way. This artwork was inspired by his “Good Idea” Print series featuring the phrase which will now be scaled up and brought to life in huge, eye-catching pink text.

Dave Buonaguidi said: “I love making ideas that are active rather than passive and I often explore the relationship that we have with locations to create extra emotional traction.

Screen printing my pink typography onto vintage maps is great fun but I really get excited about bringing the idea to life, in the real world, with huge letters. I have always loved Bristol and the passion that people who live there have for their hometown, so being part of a project that celebrates that is very exciting.”

The Unfolding by SLX & Bristol Light Festival – Temple Church

The ruins of Temple Church will be transformed into a gentle, meditative experience thanks to a beautiful design by Alex Keighley from SLX accompanied by the music of Hannah Peel and Bristol-based Paraorchestra.

All information about the festival can be found at

  • The Unfolding

    Hannah Peel & Paraorchestra

    Released 01 April 2022

    There are pieces of music that seek to tell us deeper stories. Others harness the talents of the players at their disposal in adventurous ways. Then there are the rare, generous works that make us think back to our roots as human beings and to our shared beginnings in the universe, that lift us in their melodies, rhythms and textures, that carry us with them. The Unfolding is all of these things.

By Online Editor

Published on Tue, 30 January 24

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