Light switch sees cities swap stunning cultural creations – 12 and 13 October 2023

9 October 2023

A unique arts exchange project will see Europe’s cultural capital send a dazzling light installation to Leeds on 12 and 13 October 2023.

For this year’s spectacular Light Night, Leeds and Timisoara in Romania will each host stunning illuminated artworks created more than a thousand miles apart in cities both enjoying landmark cultural celebrations.

Timisoara is a current European Capital of Culture for 2023, whilst Leeds has spent the past year showcasing the best of its arts, culture and heritage during Leeds 2023.

During this Thursday and Friday’s Light Night event, Leeds City Museum will be the setting for I wanna be loved/Everybody does, a thought-provoking piece by students at The West University of Timisoara. The beautiful installation explores the themes of affection, attachment, and intimate relationships.

The illuminating international partnership will also see Leeds send The Nectary an eye-catching installation by artist Alison Smith to Timisoara.

Developed locally in collaboration with the University of Leeds, it has been exhibited at previous Light Night Leeds events and is being shown at the Romanian city’s Night Art Festival. It allows visitors to experience the hum of the earth through a series of huge, glowing flower heads.

Artist Daniel Popescu has been working with students in Romania to bring their installation to life before it travels to Leeds.

Daniel said:

From the concept to the first sketches, and later to the development of the whole installation, everything was done freely with trust and without any constraints by a group of students from the sculpture department of the Faculty of Arts and Design.

They were very confident about their project, and they feel very grateful for the opportunity to exhibit in Leeds as a reward for their ideas, ambition, and hard work.

The installation is one of a number coming to Leeds from countries around the world, including Australia, France, The Netherlands and Poland.

leeds lights

Speaking about Light Night, Daniel said:

Being a celebration of culture that attracts thousands of visitors each year, it is important to observe how these types of events can become a fruitful connection between cities.

Each year we can become better citizens and form stronger relationships with different cultures through common practices, social relationships, and respect.

Now in its 19th year, the theme for this year’s Light Night Leeds is “Future Dreaming”, inspired by Leeds 2023 and with a series of pieces from around the globe which will imagine how Leeds and the rest of the world might look in the future.

Some of the city’s most recognisable buildings, streets and spaces will be lit up by a compelling programme of more than 50 arts installations.

Regularly attracting more than 100,000 people to the city centre over its two nights, Light Night’s installations take place in a series of zones, with a number generously sponsored by a local business or organisation.



Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said:

The stunning spectacle of Light Night is always one of the most anticipated occasions in our city’s events calendar, bringing tens of thousands of people together to enjoy a unique and unforgettable experience.

It also exemplifies the very best of culture in Leeds, celebrating the power of the arts to engage and inspire while reinventing some of the city’s most celebrated and best-loved locations.

Light Night also plays a huge part in supporting our local businesses and economy, generating important footfall and inward investment. As we continue to celebrate our landmark Leeds 2023 Year of Culture, I’m sure this year’s event will be one to remember.

For more details about Light Night Leeds, visit:

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