Bridges, not Walls
“We build too many walls and not enough bridges” – Sir Isaac Newton
This new temporary installation artwork was commissioned by the Eisteddfod in Llangollen, and presented in the summer of 2021. With support from the Welsh Government, this was Luke’s first major commission for the country.
The Eisteddfod has a long and rich history of working with different communities and nations across the world to bring people together to share their creativity and a message of peace.
“When I first saw the medieval Llangollen Bridge I fell in love with it. It’s so iconic and at the heart of the town. Across the world, bridges have always been used as both a physical and symbolic way to connect people – which fit perfectly with the aims and ambitions of the Eisteddfod.” said Luke.
The 60m long bridge was wrapped on both sides in giant patchwork to reflect the crafts and cultures of Wales, but also the participating nations of the Eisteddfod. Transforming the bridge into a work of art, the colours were inspired by the incredible fabrics worn by the festival performers. The artwork brought the Eisteddfod’s creativity out from the festival field, into the town, transforming and animating Llangollen for the whole world to see.
Of the 1000 patches, over 100 patchwork squares were designed and made by the public, embedding a sense of local pride and ownership within the community. Many visitors brought their friends and family to find the artwork they had helped to make.
From every angle the bridge was an incredible sight to see, changing with the light and weather conditions. Even the water beneath the bridge was transformed with its reflections of colour from the artwork.
With thanks to:
Llangollen Eisteddfod team.
Paul Channing- CAD.
Jon Glanville – lead sewing machinist.
Emma William & Saffron Savage – sewing machinists.
Mark and Jude Harris – install crew.
BBC Radio 4 – Front Row
S4C – 10 minute television documentary
The National (Scotland)
The Irish News
BBC Radio Wales