Join us under the lights

Illuminate will be a two week long experience this year – meaning we can reach more people across Plymouth, the south west, and beyond.

Each night’s experiences start from 5:30pm – at Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard and at various start times at the newly refurbished Market Hall in Devonport.

During the two weeks of Illuminate Light Festival, each venue will offer a variety of work for everyone to enjoy, this programme page is here to help you plan your visit and find out more about the incredible array of artwork waiting for you at this year’s festival.

Visit our official event page for more information about your visit.

Artworks at Illuminate

Explore Ocean Studios – from Illumaphonium a dynamic and interactive, multi-sensory music making installation that is the first-of-its-kind to Squidsoup’s SOLA, a monumental wall of artificial sunlight to brighten your day, through to Re-wilding a visual rendering of an alternative future if we returned buildings to nature by Florian Guibert. There’s also

Meanwhile at the centre of the stunningly renovated Market Hall, those visiting any events or showings at the immersive dome can also experience Submergence by Squidsoup, a large, immersive experience via many thousands of individual points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space, why not also take a night dive into an immersive seagrass meadow with Seagrass by Chloe Georgakis and Will Harvey.

Plus so much more…

Art and events at Ocean Studios:

Daily from 5:30pm in the heart of the Royal William Yard

Bioluminescent algae, projected realities, and immersive environments like no other.

Gather with us at Ocean Studios to explore pieces by over 10 different creatives as they take over our courtyard, café and events space with unusual and illuminating artworks to change your perspective and delight guests of all ages.

Book now

Illuminate presents: Light Organ

Light Organ is an interactive live performance piece that turns soundwaves into colourful beams of light! The sound created by performers will be presented on a giant Audio Spectrum Analyser, showing the audience how the acoustic energy is distributed across the audio frequency spectrum. The multi-channel loudspeaker will enable you to hear live music in a totally immersive way.

Book now

Illuminate presents: Plymouth Jest Fest

Ocean City Comics invites you to come celebrate the toast* of Plymouth’s Comedy Scene at this bespoke night of ‘Janner’ based comics! Plymouth has a small and tight knit group of comics with a great variety of comic styles and personas, please come support them in their home town and expect chaos, music, prizes and owls…

Book now

Immersive Dome screenings at Market Hall:

Climate Crimes presented by Michela French | Tuesday 16th of November, 6pm

Join creator of Climate Crimes, Michela French, in the Immersive Dome for a screening and discussion on the relationship between climate change and human migration.

The spatial video content is designed to immerse the viewer in this cyclic story of cause and effect. The imagery shifts from microscopic to universal scales, incorporating the physical dome structure in the narrative movement across complex data sets, global perspectives and human stories

Book now

Climate: short films | Wednesday 17th to Sunday 28th of November, various start times:

Join us for a series of Climate focused immersive films, screened as part of Illuminate 2021, including: Climate Crimes, To Protect A Paradise, and Résonances Boréales. For blurbs on each film click the book now link.

Book now

Legend of the Enchanted Reef | Saturday and Sunday 20th/21st and 27th/28th of November, various start times:

Meet Shorty the reef fish and his crew of energetic friends! After a trawl devastates their reef, the three friends have no choice but to set out on an adventurous journey to find a new home. This humorous film for the whole family raises awareness for the acute need for marine conservation. Running time: 32 minutes

Book now


Activities for little ones:

Moths to a Flame | Daily from 4-6pm | Market Hall:

Create and design your very own moth and set it free to fly around you inside the Immersive Dome at Market Hall. Open to everyone, colouring sheets and pencils provided; come experience something incredible and learn about the vital role moths play in our eco-system.

This activity is a collaboration between Art and Energy and Real Ideas, extending the brilliant Moths to a Flame project which is at COP26 in Glasgow.

Book now

Mini Makers | Saturday and Sunday 20th/21st and 27th/28th of November, 10am-12pm | Ocean Studios :

Bring your family and little ones along for a creative session with oodles of fun! This November, Mini Makers is linking up with Illuminate Light Festival to bring creativity sessions themed around the climate crisis. Learn what we can do to create change for our environment whilst getting creative and having fun at the same time!

Book now

Family Short Films – Illuminate dome screening | Saturday 20th – Tuesday 23rd of November various start times | Market Hall

Join us for a series of Climate focused family immersive films, screened as part of Illuminate 2021.

Book now

Illuminate workshops:

Fluorescent plastics workshop led by Precious Plastics | Saturday and Sunday 20th/21st and 27th/28th of November, 4/5/6pm starts | Ocean Studios (Jewellery Studio):

Made from the offcuts of lorry wheel nut indicators, you will learn how to shred waste plastic and use a low-tech injection moulder to make your very own designer soap dish or pot, plus some beautiful buttons to take home. Environmentally friendly, made in Plymouth, bright and beautiful! Sessions are an hour long and can be enjoyed by a maximum group of 4 people per session.

Book now


Bioluminescent print workshop led by Beth Munro | Saturday and Sunday 20th/21st and 27th/28th of November, various start times | Ocean Studios (Print Studio):

Learn the art of printing and marbling with fluorescent inks, cyanotype prints and other techniques in this hands-on 30 minute workshop.

Led by expert print maker Beth Munro, explore and respond to satellite images of bioluminescent activity in the earth’s oceans throughout your creation.

Book now

Illuminate Asks | Climate

Communicating the Climate Crisis | Friday 19th of November, 6pm | Market Hall :

How can we effectively communicate the climate crisis? Join us for a debate. The scientific language surrounding climate change is undeniably complex, so too is the web of misinformation. How, as societies and individuals, can we communicate more effectively on the issue of a lifetime?

Book now

Illuminate asks – What new approaches can we take to manage the impact of changing weather patterns? | Friday 26th of November, 6pm | Market Hall :

On the panel will be Alex Phillips, Data Scientist & Urban Drainage expert, and Caroline
Blackler, Sustainable Development scientist and ambassador, who will introduce ‘living roofs’ and their vision to transform the asphalt flat roofs of Plymouth City Centre into an urban patchwork of bio-solar ‘sponges’. Steve Warren-Brown the founder of YGS landscapes will describe his micro forests, a new approach to re-wilding, and Eli Zahoui from PCA talks about the Smart Citizens Programme based at Fab Lab Plymouth (Plymouth College of Art).

Book now

Illuminate asks: How can we protect sea life? | Saturday 20th of November, 5pm | Market Hall:

Join Cornwall Climate and Blue Marine Foundation and others as we discuss what we can do to protect our sea life.

Our oceans are vital to life on Earth and are in danger, but there are signs of hope.

Join JoJosh McCarty from Blue Marine Foundation, Emily Stevenson from Beach Guardian, Claire Wallerstein from Cornwall Climate Care and Kat Deeney from the National Marine Park to explore the wonders of the deep oceans in the dome and discuss new ways to engage communities and protect sea life.

Book now

Real Ideas asks: Can parks run themselves? | Tuesday 16th of November, 1pm | Online:

Join us for an online discussion with Kate Swade from Shared Assets, Real Ideas, and special guests for a picnic in the Virtual Park as we hear from people in Plymouth and across the country who are pushing the boundaries of community autonomy, power and ownership in parks. Bring your lunch and your own opinions to this fun and interactive session.

Book now

Quiet evenings:

Artwork experience | Thursday November 18th and 25th 5:30-8:30pm | Ocean Studios

Quiet Immersive Dome screenings and artwork experience | Thursday November 18th, 2:00-6:45pm start times | Thursday November 25th, 11:00am-4:15pm start times | Market Hall

As part of this year’s Illuminate, we are hosting two quiet openings specifically for people with additional sensory needs and those that find crowded places challenging.

Our quiet sessions will enable you to enjoy Illuminate at your own pace and away from the noise.

Join us on Thursday 18th and Thursday 25th November to immerse yourself in beautiful projection mapping, light art installations and sensory play in a stress-free and much less crowded environment.

There are hundreds of tickets to Illuminate events at Market Hall and Ocean Studios available across the 2 weeks of Illuminate, so please only book these tickets if you feel your personal circumstances require a quiet experience.

Market Hall

Ocean Studios

This activity is part of the iMayflower project and has been supported by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who fund the Cultural Development Fund, which is administered by Arts Council England