The Luminarium has travelled around the world and has recently arrived for a few days in Compton Verney for a visit.
After going along and experiencing it for myself, here's what you can expect if you find yourself inside the huge inflatable sculpture that is lit only by natural light..
What is a Luminarium?
A Luminarium is a sculpture you enter for an encounter with light. This immersive art installation has been likened to a labyrinth. Walking through will awaken all of the senses, creating a sense of wonder and enchantment for all ages.
Created by Architects of Air this is how they describe the experience..
"Somewhere between a womb and a cathedral"
A visitor’s first reaction is often one of wonderment at the unexpected beauty of the light.
Since 1992 more than 3 million visitors in over 40 countries across 5 continents have been welcomed into Architects of Air’s monumental luminaria, immersed in radiant colour that comes simply from daylight shining through the luminarium’s fabric.
The luminaria designed by company founder Alan Parkinson are inspired by natural forms, geometric solids, Islamic and Gothic architecture. Each new creation is a maze of winding paths and inspiring domes where the visitors may lose themselves in sensory bliss.
It all began in 1992. This year Architects of Air is celebrating its 30 YEARS of designing, building and touring the wonderful luminaria. What an enchanting journey!
Since 1992 the luminaria have shown their broad cross-cultural appeal by visiting more than 40 countries across 5 continents.
What to expect...
It's not a bouncy castle but when we were waiting to enter I couldn't help thinking that a few of the children surrounding us were expecting to bounce around. In fact quite a few were rebounding off the walls as we watched from outside.
As you walk in and are zipped up through an airlock you realise that you are in a maze like living sculpture that you can walk around and enjoy at your own pace. All the colours that you see are created by natural light. You wouldnt be in here at night time, and entering during the day it is hard to beleive that the sun is lighting up everything around you. It wasn't a very sunny day when we attended and yet the colours were as bright and vibrant as you can see.
There is gentle music playing and you can sit on the floor, as you have to walk around in socks the floor is kepy clean and it is just like walking on a rubber floor, it feels soft, but you won'r be bouncing around on it! There are domes of different sizes and shapes and as you enter each one you can see a different colour drawing you in, or you can look down through the corridors of the domes and see how the colours bleed into each other and create their own living moving colour schemes.
It is a very calming and safe feeling space. I have only one issue which I feel may make me a grumpy old man, but here we go. I think that having times for adults only would have helped to make it a more magical experience. We were surrounded by children running around, and as I mentioned even bouncing off the walls which does take some of the magic away. I can see that if you are bringing children it is a wonderful experience for them, however as the adults who were not wih children saw it was hard to fully immerse yourself in the experience.
So, if you find yourself somewhere where you can enter and experience the Luminarium for yourself I do recommend it. It's a unique and very different way to spend some time encased in plastic.
You can find out all about architects of Air here : https://www.architects-of-air.com/the-experience
Compton Verney is a wonderful space and is somewhere to experience the wonder of Capability Brown's landscapes as well as a revolving set of exhibitions and experiences. Find out all about that Here: https://www.comptonverney.org.uk/