Local artists make light work at Mount Stewart

Local musician and National Trust ranger, Will Hawkins strums up inspiration with Tina Chong (centre) and Victoria Bentham as they prepare for Festival of Light at Mount Stewart.
Local musician and National Trust ranger, Will Hawkins strums up inspiration with Tina Chong (centre) and Victoria Bentham as they prepare for Festival of Light at Mount Stewart.

Mount Stewart has revealed exciting new elements in this year’s Festival of Light, which will open for ten nights from Friday 20 November until Sunday 29 November.

The Lake Walk will come alive to the sound of mythical music provided by Will Hawkins, a local musician who specialises in instrumental soundscapes. While unique art installations created by two well-known local artists, Victoria Bentham and Tina Chong, will also add to the shimmering atmosphere.

Will Hawkins, whilst passionate and highly skilled in creating music also has a deep connection and understanding of the local landscape through his role as a National Trust Ranger. His in depth knowledge of Mount Stewart and its surrounding environment has helped to shape and influence the creation of unique soundscapes for this year’s showcase event.

Another exciting dimension to the Festival of Light will be a lighting installation created by Tina Chong. This local artist has been developing decorative lights which feature a captivating light source without the need of lightbulbs. Tina explains that Electroluminescent Smart Material Technology uses an organic layer of phosphor which glows when an electrical current passes through it and is set to create a new aesthetic among the field of lighting. The Festival of Light design is derived from a hand drawn illustration that resembles intricate lily pad shapes.

The masterpieces of local sculptor and artist, Victoria Bentham will also add a new dynamic to the visitor experience this year. Victoria has taken her inspiration from the world class gardens and the mythology and characters associated with them. Using a variety of materials, including steel, perspex and ceramics, she has created stags and uniquely designed sculptures which will be illuminated throughout the grounds. Each piece of art has been specifically created for the Festival of Light.

Janet Vance, assistant visitor services manager at Mount Stewart, said: “We are delighted to have our own Ranger and two local artists supporting this year’s Festival. Their artistic expertise and music skills are amazing and we can’t wait for them all to be unveiled at the Festival of Light.”

Wrap up for a winter night like no other at Mount Stewart’s Festival of Light, supported by Tourism NI.

Tickets are now on sale and booking is essential, call 0844 249 1895 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/mount-stewart.

Tickets: Adult £10, child £7.50, family £30.