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Corridor of Light set to transform and illuminate Oxford Road

14 Oct 2021

As autumn settles in, a celebration of language through light, music and ideas will reveal the stories and places along Oxford Road

Corridor of Light festival

The Corridor of Light will stretch south from Central Library in St Peter’s Square, taking in buildings and places old and new, reaching the Whitworth at the far end.

From 21 to 23 October, you can enjoy visual illuminations, sculptures, poetry and performance along Corridor landmarks – some may be familiar, some completely new. A chance to discover and celebrate new ideas, innovation and creativity.

The event has been organised by Oxford Road Corridor, a partnership comprising both our University and Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester City Council, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Bruntwood, Manchester Science Partnerships, HOME, Royal Northern College of Music and representation from many of Manchester’s leading cultural institutions. 

Our President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Nancy Rothwell chairs the Oxford Road Corridor board and our Director of Estates Diana Hampson chairs the Executive.

Diana said: “We’re delighted to be taking part in this unique collaboration with our Oxford Road Corridor partners. We hope staff, students and visitors will take the opportunity to see our landmarks, in particular those on campus, in a new light this autumn.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase this area of Manchester and I’d like to thank all of those involved in making this festival happen.”

Highlights around campus will include:

  • A new commission by Tim Etchells – a neon artwork on the Booth Street East bridge will showcase the link between two University buildings. 6pm - 10pm
  • Move Fast and Brake Things by Antonio Roberts - inspired by the first computer to store and run a programme, this dynamic, fast-paced projection on University Place will explore the comparatively innocent origins of computing and the thrill of innovation – but also how the messy and chaotic future we’re now living in may have been unforeseen. Discover more of Antonio’s work at Alan Gilbert Square where you will find Let’s Never Meet, an exploration of intellectual connections with people we may never physically meet. 6pm – 10pm
  • Alight on Lemn Sissay’s poetry – our Chancellor and BAFTA-nominated writer, broadcaster and poet Lemn Sissay OBE reads four of his most-loved poems for Corridor of Light. Listen to specially-made recordings of Lemn reading It’s Time to Stellify and Rain at University Place from 6pm – 10 pm. Two untitled works will be displayed in the window of Takk at Hatch.
  • Beyond the Quietening by The Sunday Boys, the Whitworth Sculpture Terrace - take a moment to soak up atmospheric choral song by a LGBTQ+ low voice choir. The singers lend their voices to three new commissions by composers Anna Appleby, Dominie Hooper, and Michael Betteridge. These include the words of Recovery Poems set to music, a piece inspired by Sarah Butler’s text Manchester Oxford Road Corridor, and a composition called The Quietening created in collaboration with the choir during lockdown. 22 October, 9 – 10pm.

Other highlights include:

  • Our Beating Heart by Studio Vertigo, Circle Square – a mirror ball on a grand scale in the shape of a heart reflects light in fantastical, swirling and changing patterns. Our Beating Heart slowly rotates on a vertical axis, creating a visual spectacle. 6pm – 10pm
  • Tower of Light by Tonkin Liu, Lower Mosley Street - designed by award-winning architectural practice Tonkin Liu, this 40m high flue tower and shell lace structural façade encloses a highly efficient source of heat and power for some of Manchester’s most iconic buildings. 6pm – 10pm.

You can view the full programme on the Corridor of Light website