Arts & Culture

Make a date to witness the amazing AURORA

By Mark Gorton at
From September 21 to October 7 an extraordinary Victorian reservoir in Liverpool will be home to an exciting, high technology experience asking us to think about our increasingly uncertain relationship with water.

It’s called Aurora and its appearance could not be more timely. Though our droughts are nothing compared to those inflicted on other parts of the world, the recent threat of restrictions has reminded even us just how valuable water is.

A wet winter has been undone by one of the driest summers on record, farmers fear for their crops, and scientists warn we might be entering a ‘hothouse’ period that could make parts of the earth uninhabitable.

Toxteth Reservoir – Photo: Brian Roberts

The setting for Aurora is Toxteth Reservoir, a remarkable and deserted building half the size of a football pitch, and perched on top of Liverpool’s High Park Street.

Built in 1845 the reservoir is a testament to the brilliance of the engineers who made the Industrial Revolution happen. It was a solution to a pressing problem – how to maintain a constant supply of fresh water to the inhabitants of a rapidly expanding city.

For more than a century this massive structure of brick, sandstone and cast iron held two million gallons of the stuff. In 1997 it was deemed redundant.

Soon Toxteth Reservoir will once again contain water, some of it real, some of it imaginary, the jaw-dropping work of cutting edge artists from home and abroad.

Photo: Invisible Flock

Commissioned by FACT LIverpool, interactive art studio Invisible Flock and Liverpool City Council, Aurora will offer guests the chance to take a 40 minute journey through a fantastical and thought provoking environment.

Invisible Flock’s Technical Director, Ben Eaton, says: “Aurora will make people feel as if they are walking through a waking dream about water. Water is incredibly precious; we have the luxury of never having to think about it too much or too often, but as a resource it is a terribly fragile thing.

“All life flows from water, we are literally made up of it. It is more important and precious than oil or gold, but we never think of it that way.”

FACT’s Head of Marketing, Pippa Lea, from West Kirby, says: “The scale of Aurora is pretty staggering, as is the technology and artistry that underpin it. You’ll walk on water, through water, see it flow by and around you, enter an ice cave, a tropical rainforest, and witness monsoons unfolding right in front of you.”

Photo: Invisible Flock

Interactive artists Invisible Flock are internationally renowned and Aurora promises to be a must-see phenomenon. State of the art interactive technologies, soundscapes, lasers and ice sculptures in an extraordinary hidden gem of a building add up to something very special.

Note: it’s a good idea to wear flat shoes, be prepared to get a little damp and don waterproof clothing, while the use of lights and lasers might make Aurora unsuitable for people with photosensitive conditions.

Here are the details of where, when and how much:

AURORA

Venue: Toxteth Reservoir, High Park Street, L8 8LU

Dates: 21 Sep-7 Oct 2018

Times: Thu-Sun | 12-7pm (hourly performances, last entry 7pm)

Tickets: £12-£10 (concessions, family tickets and group offers available)

Tickets are on sale now from Ticketquarter. Click or tap here to go to the site and then search for Aurora.

Photo: Invisible Flock