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Light knights

Monday, 7th October 2019

See the clash of mighty warriors at Royal Armouries this ‘Light Knight’

10 & 11 October, from 6 pm

On the 10 and 11 October the Royal Armouries will be taking part in the city-wide Light Night festival with two gigantic illuminated knight installations in its outdoor amphitheatre, a special light display on its square and late opening.

The museum is known for its knights in shining armour, but visitors will have never seen anything like this before. The twelve-foot high illuminated armoured knights will be battling in the dark outside the museum on the Leeds Dock waterfront.

The installation is supported by the museum and the Leeds Waterfront Enhancement Fund. Visitors can charge down to see these mighty warriors from 6 pm to 10.30 pm each evening, with performances lasting ten minutes at 6.30 pm, 7.15 pm, 8 pm, 8.45 pm, 9.30 pm and 10.15 pm.

As well as this the museum square will be playing host to a second light installation, iTernity by Katja Heitmann. iTernity is an audio-visual installation based on the famous ballet solo ‘The Dying Swan’. The audience must work together using a series of screens to capture the performance from the ‘cloud’ where the swan is everywhere at once and can dance forever.

On both evenings the museum will have special late opening hours (6 pm – 10 pm /last admission 9.30 pm). Visitors can come to see a brand new exhibit, a Buddhist manuscript dating to the 19th century on loan from the British Library. This Burmese folding book manuscript contains images of eight festivals in Burma. The opening on display shows a procession at the Buddhist Thadingyut festival, where royal attendants carry elaborate sculptures of animals, boats and temples. The Thadingyut festival commemorates the Buddha’s return to earth from the Tavatimsa heaven, which is believed to have taken place on the full moon night of Thadingyut. The streets are usually decorated with coloured lights to represent the gold, ruby and silver stairways down to earth from heaven.

The display of the manuscript coincides with a third light display on Leeds Dock titled ‘Voyage’. This floating installation by artists Aether and Hemera, commissioned by the British Library, will see hundreds of colour changing oversized origami ‘paper boats’ on the Leeds canal. Alongside ‘Voyage’ the Library also aims to engage with the city’s Buddhist community, with ‘Reflections on the Water’ – a workshop that invites light night visitors to make and float flower lanterns on the canal and learn about the Buddhist festival of Loi Krathong.

Commenting on the event Tristan Langlois, Interim Director of Public Engagement at the Royal Armouries said: “This is the museum’s first Light Night and we are really excited to be participating. The festival has become an integral part of the city’s culture and we hope that our installations prove popular with visitors. The Light Knights in particular will be a real statement for the museum and what we are all about. We can’t wait to see them lit up against the dramatic backdrop of our building and the amazing Leeds Dock.”

The event is free to attend, find out more on the Royal Armouries website.
Ends……
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Notes to editors
Further enquiries email: communications@armouries.org.uk

About the Royal Armouries

Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.