Game of Stones: Alumni and Friends Fund grant winners join LightNight Liverpool’s 2021 line-up

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Process of turning rock into metal and the colourful flames generated in this process
The magic of metallurgy at the EARTH site at Ness Botanic Gardens

After a year with limited access to arts and culture, it is with great anticipation that LightNight Liverpool returns to the city on Friday 21 May 2021. This year, the free one-night festival will be taking place in a reduced number of venues across the city and also online, so you can get involved wherever you are in the world.

Part of this year’s line-up is none other than Alumni and Friends Fund grant winner, Dr Pete Hommel, of the University of Liverpool’s Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology. After receiving an Alumni and Friends Fund grant to fund the EARTH centre at Ness Botanic Gardens last year, the team were spurred on by tremendous public interest from visitors to hold an event around the topic of metallurgy for LightNight Liverpool: Game of Stones: The Magic of Metallurgy on at 18.00–18.30 and 20.00–20.30.

Fitting in with the 2021 LightNight theme of ‘play’, Dr Pete Hommel said: “Our ability to play, to experiment with the world we inhabit, is what gives us the potential to transform our environment and our societies alike. Copper metallurgy is a great example of this. People in the past didn’t know that copper minerals contained metal, we liked them because they were beautiful, brightly colourful in shades of blue and green. This change is frankly magical even when we know how it works, and judging by our continued fascination by fireworks, it would have been irresistible to people in the past.”

The Alumni and Friends Fund grant is made possible thanks to the generous donations from alumni and friends across the world. Pete added: “The funding provided by the Alumni and Friends Fund grant has done more than just provide the possibility of materials and installations, it provided the spark for our enthusiasm in this project. This enthusiasm, as predicted, is catching and already enquiries from colleagues about how they too can use the facilities in their teaching and research are coming in.”

Join the staff and students from the EARTH team this Friday night as they bring the sights and sounds of a copper furnace into the comfort of your home with interactive discussions of mines, metals and magic at 18.00–18.30 and 20.00–20.30. More information is available here.

As with every year, the University of Liverpool is proud to be part of the dazzling LightNight Liverpool programme. We are delighted to share more alumni, student and staff LightNight offerings for this year’s festival below.

  • 17:00 – 22:00 – With My Little Eye: The Victoria Gallery and Museum present a brand new I-Spy game specially for LightNight, featuring ‘Oriel’, one of the VG&M’s most popular sculptures, as she comes to life to help you explore the beautiful Victoria Building, solve clues, spell out a word and complete the game. There are prizes to be won!
  • 18:00 – 18:30 – Online Discussion – Heavy Gardening: A Cross Sector Approach to the Green Agenda: Alumna Lucy Byrne (Combined Honours 2002), Managing Director at dot-art, will be in conversation with the team behind the Heavy Gardening art trail discuss how art and culture can help build engagement with the green agenda and help communities feel part of the fight against climate change.
  • 17:00 – 17:30 & 20:00 - 20:30 – Wild Oracle: Live Oracle Card Readings: Join Open Eye Gallery for an evening of personal oracle card readings with citizen sci-artist and University of Liverpool alumna Jay Hampton (Combined Honours 2013), exploring the wildflowers of Liverpool.
  • 17:00 – 22:00 – Skittles and Sketchfab: Ancient Play at the Garstang: Get up close to playful objects from Garstang Museum’s collection by viewing them in 3D. Made possible by state of the art scanning techniques, you can zoom in and get 360 degree views of ancient objects. You are also invited to create your own Ancient Egyptian skittles game from recycled materials and clay by watching our YouTube film.
  • 17:00 – 22:00 – Play it again: Discover performances past and present inspired by the Victoria Gallery & Museum’s collections.
  • 17:00 – 22:00 – I’m an architect, get me out of here!: Alfred Waterhouse was the Liverpool-born architect who designed our wonderful Victoria Building but he’s got trapped inside it! Can you help him escape the Clock Tower goblins in our brand-new escape room game? Journey through the Victoria Building solving puzzles and answering questions about the building, the many clocks within it, the university and Liverpool.
  • 17:00 – 22:00 – I like to move it, move it: Bring objects and characters to life in your very own stop motion animation film. Stop motion animation is a great way to create your own playful films!

You can find the full list of activities on the LightNight Liverpool website.