Lightwaves Salford 2023

Thursday 7th – Sunday 10th December 2023, 4pm -10pm

Lightwaves Salford invites you to explore a trail of dramatic light art installations that animate and transform the waterside environment at Salford Quays and MediaCity. This year we’ll be celebrating our 10th Lightwaves with a trail of 15 illuminated works from established as well as emerging artists, both local, national and international, bringing a variety of different pieces; thought-provoking, surprising and playful.

Lightwaves Salford 2023 Free Public Tours

We are offering free guided tours of this year’s festival, giving you the opportunity to learn about the inspiration behind the artworks and how they made their way to the Lightwaves’ programme. Tours are led by a member of the Quays Culture team and last 45 mins – 1 hour.

19:00, Friday 8th / BSL tour BOOK
15:00, Saturday 9th / BSL tour of Julia and Axel followed by BSL tour of Lightwaves BOOK
17:00, Saturday 9th / Public tour BOOK
16:00, Sunday 10th / Public tour BOOK
18:00, Sunday 10th / Public tour in Mandarin BOOK


Lightwaves Salford 2023 Free Artist Talk BOOK

Please also Join us on Saturday 9th December at 12pm in the University of Salford for an artist talk by Denis Bivour and Florian Giefer of Loomaland, creators of the spectacular light artwork CETUS.


Lightwaves Salford 2023 Map

1. Cetus /wiser.turns.plates
2. Glow /pays.magic.track
3. Polyrhythms /worm.good.flip
4. One Way or Another /badly.finely.wounds
5. Valkyrie /alone.danger.scans
6. Night Big Bang /post.upset.timing
7. Fish Are Jumping /only.offer.indeed
8. Suraj /
9. Nectary /
10. Through No.4 /zone.script.friday
11. Crystal Flowers /late.fuels.late
12. Human Aquarium: Deep Water /candle.kick.sprint
13. Decade of Light /salt.lance.yarn
14. Pulse /task.herbs.indoor
15. Walk the Plank /


Lightwaves Salford 2023 Full Programme

More details for each individual artwork can also be found on Light Up The North – Lightwaves Salford page


Cetus Lightwaves 2023CETUS or “the whale” By Loomaland

CETUS is a spectacular 6 meter long underwater artwork inspired by whale sharks. Its life-like movements are cunningly real when its streamlined body is in motion; diving and resurfacing, just like a real whale.

PolyrhythmsPolyrhythms By Axolotl

A percussive soundtrack interacts with mesmerising glowing patterns of light, chasing round large concentric polygon structures representing various polyrhythmic beats.



One Way or Another By Tom Biddulph

A set of revised road signs giving humanity a shared direction for the future.



Valkyrie By Alison Smith and Matt Collins

Valkyrie is a huge glowing orb which responds to voices. Inspired by the Northern Lights, you can create your own aurora by speaking into the sculpture, creating new colours across its icy surface, which is hand crafted from recycled plastics.


Night Big BangNight Big Bang By Malik Jama

Night Big Bang blends futuristic technological dreamscapes with digital light drawing, natural elements and bodies of water, tangling architecture and industry with the natural environment.


Fish Are Jumping By Toer

Fish are Jumping is an interpretation of fish that sometimes catch our attention by jumping above the water. It is a play of light and dark, of quick and slow, of sound and silence.


Nectary By Alison Smith and Dr Chris Hassall

The Nectary invites you to immerse yourself in nature and mimic a pollinating insect, visiting six huge glowing flowers handcrafted from recycled materials



Crystal FlowersCrystal Flowers By Stevie Thompson – Custom Fibre Optics

A beautiful display with hundreds of hand-made, illuminated fibre optic flowers. Crystal Flowers is a reminder to take our time more often and appreciate the stunning natural world around us.


Human AquariumHuman Aquarium: Deep Water By Annabeth Robinson, University of Salford in collaboration with Yorkshire Life Aquatic

Centring on a projection mapped origami boat, the Deep Water installation is a thought-provoking immersive installation reflecting on the effect of climate change and pollution on the Oceans and Waterways of the world.


GLOWGLOW By Amigo & Amigo

GLOW is a giant interactive light installation inspired by the cycles of the moon. With over 40 different music sounds and interactive lighting animations, you are invited to move throughout and play.


PulsePULSE By Loop

PULSE in an epic audio-visual art installation made up of 14,400 programmable LEDS. A tightly synced and choreographed audio visual journey.



SurajSuraj By Breaking Barriers and Akeelah Bertram

Suraj is a celebration of the journey of light and the way that we conduct our daily activities according to the position of the sun and the moon.



Flaming Daisy ChainWalk The Plank

Commissioned by Walk the Plank and Billie Klinger (Creative Producer) This dynamic metal structure creates a continuous cycle of flaming flowers by repurposing scrap metal and Glyndebourne curtain rail.


Through No.4 - Lightwaves 2021Through No.4 By Liz West

The much-loved MediaCity landmark, elegantly lit for Lightwaves Salford, to create a multicoloured jewel in the dark.



Quays CultureDecade of Light

Decade of Light is a celebration Lightwave Salford’s 10th year. Shining against the night sky, the piece is a gift from Quays Culture to all those who have made the last decade of Lightwaves so special.


Lightwaves Salford is part of the Quays Culture Programme, a partnership initiative with a mission to animate public spaces, bringing extraordinary art into the heart of the community for everyone to experience free of charge.