Looming light sculptures transformed Bradford’s City Park into a “magical wonderland” as striking displays were illuminated for the first time last night.
Camera flashes added to the dazzling spectacle as hundreds of people flocked to see shining wild dandelions, red-tipped grass and gigantic illuminated lillies in the city’s glowing Garden of Light.
Families could be seen posing for pictures under the shining sculptures – with some standing at more than 11 metres tall – as street performers dressed in a shimmering blue strutted around the six-acre city centre park.
Bradford Council enlisted the help of French master light artists, TILT, to create the garden, which runs from dusk to approximately 10pm every night until Sunday, October 14.
Lisa Dobson, 22, of Idle, who was walking around the 24 light sculptures with a group of friends, said: “It’s like a magical wonderland. It’s just spectacular.
“I’d read this was happening, so I thought I’d pop down and see, but I didn’t expect anything like this.
“It’s something you don’t normally see here in Bradford, but I think it’s amazing. It’s quite soothing and surreal walking around City Park with giant light sculptures.
Dad-of-two Paul Slater, 39, of Ravenscliffe, was taking a photograph from the vantage point of the Mirror Pool.
He said: “I love it. The look on the children’s faces when they first saw it was brilliant.”
TILT, which has produced similar light sculptures in Singapore, Geneva, Qatar and Bilbao, combine LED, fibre optic, tungsten and fluorescent lights with modern and recycled materials to produce subtle, dream-like atmospheres.
A similar TILT light garden in Huddersfield last year was about half the size of Bradford’s display.
The Council has created a special outdoor seating area within the garden and local businesses are offering special night-time menus so visitors can dine al fresco while soaking up the ambiance.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Council’s portfolio holder for employment, skills and culture, said: “We are delighted to stage Garden of Light this autumn.
“The installations have caused a sensation in other European cities and I’m sure Bradford will be no exception.”