A walk in a magical forest and an immersive installation inspired by the Large Hadron Collider will transport Brighton Festival audiences into other worlds this May.
Fabrica gallery in central Brighton will be transformed into a ‘fairytale installation’ by internationally renowned contemporary artist, Olafur Eliasson from Tues 18 May to Sun 20 June. The Forked Forest Path is one of Fabrica’s most immersive and memorable exhibitions to date, as the gallery celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Visitors will be immersed in a space filled with branches, saplings and thinnings, combined with a strong, earthy smell reminiscent of a forest floor. Each element works together to create the illusion of being lost in a dense wood. The artist is known for creating large-scale exhibitions that connect with the natural world to highlight issues such as climate change, including his epic recreation of the sun in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall in 2003. The Forked Forest Path is part of the Towner Collection on loan to Fabrica from Towner Eastbourne.
Set to arrive with a Big Bang, an art installation inspired by scientific research into the fundamental make-up of matter will open at the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts (ACCA) in Falmer. Created by Brighton-based artist duo Semiconductor, HALO is a multisensory experience of matter formation in the early universe generated through projections and sound played out upon hundreds of vertical piano strings. Audiences enter an intricate mechanical structure operated by data from the ATLAS experiment at CERN which recreates the conditions shortly after the Big Bang.
The artwork follows Semiconductor’s residency at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, in Geneva, and was made with the help of physicists from the University of Sussex.
HALO at Brighton Festival is supported by Arts Council England, and co-produced by Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. It’s an Audemars Piguet Art Commission, curated by Mónica Bello and first presented in the context of Art Basel in Basel in 2018. In collaboration with CERN.
“As Brighton Festival returns for 2021, we are delighted to partner with Fabrica and ACCA to bring these outstanding art works for audiences to enjoy for free this May,” said Andrew Comben, Chief Executive, Brighton Festival. “Both installations tell very different stories and offer us experiences to connect with the natural world, something we have all been craving over the last year of lockdown.”
Both venues are free admission and will be operating social distancing measures for visitors to enjoy the work safely and comfortably.
Brighton Festival will return in 2021 with a celebration of art and culture from 1 May, extending across the whole month and possibly into June. This year’s Festival programme will be launched online on Tues 30 March with guest director, the poet, author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE.
Following the latest government guidance on when lockdown restrictions can be eased, events will take place online, in unusual outdoor pop-up locations. Live performances will open for socially distanced audiences in venues across the city and beyond.
Brighton Festival begins on Sat 1 May 2021.