Art Adventure – Illuminating York 2016

Last Thursday (27th October 2016) we went on an adventure to York to see Illuminating York, Weds 26th -Sat 29th 6pm-10pm.

“The festival invites you to explore and discover the city through the imagination of artists, using the medium of light in all its forms.

This year the festival will open up some of York’s most famous, most interesting and intriguing buildings by night, to experience them in a completely new way. Outdoors, buildings, spaces and places will also host installations using light and projection. Travel between these sites and spot our bunny lights in York’s shop windows along the way.”

We started at Cliffords Tower to see Lumenpulse then walked over to The National Railway Museum for Travelling Light by Heinrich and Palmer and the work by Leeds City College students  (once we found where to get in, as the main entrance wasn’t open and it wasn’t well signposted either). Next we made our way to York St John University for Lumen by David Ogle plus the work by students there too, stopping off at Exhibition Square on the way for NoHL: Pockets of Light Shades of Light by Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) working with York Schools to light part of the walls in Exhibition Square. Last we walked over to the Minster, spotting some of the bunnies on the bunnie trail on the way.


I’d been to Light Night Leeds at the beginning of the month (you can read about it in my blog post here) which I had really enjoyed, so my expectations were high. Sadly I was disappointed with Illuminating York (we both were, and he didn’t even get to go to Leeds). It says on the website that it’s “York’s biggest Night-Time Festival” but to me it didn’t feel like a festival like it did in Leeds. More like a few events that happened to be going on at the same time. In Leeds it felt like everything was tied together and part of one big city wide event. This was helped by the maps telling you where things were which were given out at the events themselves, plus in specific places that were easy to see and by helpful people handing them out there too. If there were maps being given out in York I didn’t see them, just the one on the website, which made it harder to find the things that were going on so there were a few more things that we didn’t get to see. Even so it still seemed that there were a lot more things going on at the Leeds Light Night and unfortunatley the Illuminating York website didn’t seem to be as professional looking and helpful as the one for Leeds either.

It didn’t seem to be as busy as the event in Leeds either, which could have been because this one was over 4 days rather than 2, but even so it still seemed quiet in comparison.

I didn’t intend for this blog post to be a comparison of the two events but as they were similar I suppose it was inevitable. It’s a shame that I found York to be lacking with it’s event. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I was going to so it was a bit disappointing. It was fun to visit the National Railway Museum at night and see the trains lit up dramatically, and I really liked the light trees of Lumen at York St John University. It was even nice to see Cliffords Tower lit up and spot the bunnies on the trail but still it felt like there should have been more and better.

Hopefully they might take more inspiration from Light Night Leeds for next years event and make it a bit more worth the trip.

If you went what did you think to it?

Comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Till next time.

Take care,

Purple Faye x


Visit to the National Railway Museum in York

Last Friday (10th June 2016) my boyfriend took me to the National Railway Museum in York. I’d been wanting to go since I started making my 3D Acrylic Paintings of The Mallard and The Flying Scotsman earlier this year (see the making of those by clicking on the links).

Unfortunately the Scotsman was out on tour on the day of our visit.  These special tours of the UK aren’t run by the National Railway Museum, but you can find out more about them here. We did get to see the Mallard though, and lots of other wonderful things too.



I found it a bit overwhelming when we first walked into the Great Hall. Seeing all the massive trains squeezed in next to each other in such a big space made me feel very small. Getting to be so close up you could see that there had been some impressive skills used to make and run them.

As I was there to research ideas for new 3D Acrylic Paintings to make I couldn’t help getting a bit snap happy at first (as you can see from the pics). There was so much to see, especially in the warehouse that holds over 750,000 objects from railway history. I really liked seeing the historical carriages in the Station Hall, it was amazing to see how much more lavish Queen Victoria’s was compared to the one used by the royal family during the first world war. I could have spent hours longer there but sadly we ran out of time so we’ll have to go back for another visit another time.

Hopefully these pics have given you a bit of a taster of the delights to be seen, but if you get a chance to go for yourself then I hope that you do get to.

About the National Railway Museum in York

NRM York

Leeman Road,
YO26 4XJ

Opening times
10am – 6pm
Closed 24, 25, 26 Dec

The new exhibition about ambulance trains used in the first world war will start on the 7th of July and looks likes it will be worth a visit. You can find out more about it here.

I’ve got a few ideas of what I want to make 3D Acrylic Paintings of next but I’d love to know what you’d like to see.

Let me know in the comments below.


Till next time

Take care

Purple Faye x