BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Oxford

Beds Herts Bucks

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Oxford Inspires

The art of Luminox
A light spectacular

Luminox: lighting up the city

Oxford's Broad Street was unrecognisable between 15-17 March as it was transformed into a spectacular fire garden.

If you have been down to Luminox and taken any pictures then we want you to email to us and your pictures could be in our image gallery very soon...

Simon Chatterton, the festival organiser spoke to BBC Radio Oxford's Dominic Cotter about Luminox.

audio Hear Simon Chatterton talk to Dominic Cotter >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

Electric light was extinguished, and the large-scale immersive fire piece created a stirring shared experience. The transformation demonstrated the true value of Broad Street as a beautiful central piazza and a focus for public gathering and art instead of a place to get through on the way to somewhere else.

"I'm looking forward to overhearing those who come to be part of Luminox saying 'I can't believe this is Oxford!'"
Ted Dewan Artist

Thursday saw the launch of Luminox. Just before 7 PM, electric lighting along Broad Street was be shut off and the fires started being lit which attracted lots of curious onlookers.

The large-scale fire installation Luminox was the creation of renowned French artists Carabosse. It featured hundreds of hanging fire pots and chandeliers.

At the heart of this elemental world was a 18m spire sculpture created by Oxford artist Ted Dewan. The spire made of bamboo and bound together with hemp rope had a giant pendulum hanging from the top.

A fire garden
Luminox in action

Over three hours the pendulum makes approximately 1000 swings, each ‘tick tock’ of the pendulum representing a single year of Oxfordshire’s history. At 7pm Ted Dewan set this pendulum swinging.

To compliment Luminox, Oxford Contemporary Music under the directorship of Jo Ross  contributed specially commissioned music and soundscapes.

A related exhibition on fire was also open at the same time in the Museum of the History of Science, in Broad Street. In the first night alone, over 1300 of you visited!

The community sculpture which was at the base of the spire was brought to light with the fire jars that had been created by school children though out the county. A series of workshops organised by Fusion toured the county's schools and the children were then encouraged to bring their completed fire jars to Broad Street. At the end of Luminox all the fire jars were then recycled.

last updated: 21/03/07
Have Your Say
Get in touch and tell us what you thought of Luminox...
Your name: 
Your comment: 
The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Looked absolutely fantastic but could you tell whoever thought of it to think of something that doesn't increase global warming by at least 1 degree next time!

jane Tyrrell
Fantabulous!! Please repeat next year but I would like to know more about the history behind it.

meilin tai ( non Oxfordshire resident )
Took my breath away ! Loved the ambience, the music, earth wind water and fire. An inspiring experience !

It was eerily beautiful..was I in Italy or ancient Rome? Loved the dangerous edge to it..not boringly over-Health and Safety conscious

it was absolutely amazing, hard to imagine if you haven't been. also the music was lovely... thank you carabosse :)

Penny Thompson
I was taken a back by Luminox. I took my grandchild yesterday and she absolutely loved it.

We went on Saturday night and really enjoyed it. It would be great if it turned into an annual event.

What complete rubbish! Far from converting Broad Street into a 'beautiful piazza' it made it look like a scrap yard complete with crane. The 'spire' looked like the losing attempt in a team building competition. Adding to the dreary atmosphere was the monotonous wailing of the so-called 'music'. Whoever signed off this fiasco on Oxford council should have the cost docked from their salary.

Angela Amphawan
A stirring and surreal exhibition.

Stunning! One of the most breath-takingly beautiful things I have seen.

John and Elizabeth Cook
What a fantastic idea! A great success!

Everyone should make time to visit Luminox. I was there yesterday and was very impressed - an amazing sight.


Many thanks to everyone involved in putting Luminox on, I went down last night and it was great. I have never seen anything quite like it before.


I am going again tonight it was so good!

It was beautiful and I want to see more of this kind of event in Oxford.

Go to the top of the page

Oxfordshire Places

BBC Oxford Nature section

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy