A distinctive arts exchange initiative is set to witness the cultural hub of Europe dispatching a mesmerizing light installation to Leeds this week.

For this year’s grand Light Night event, both Leeds and Timisoara in Romania will host captivating illuminated artworks, crafted over a thousand miles apart in cities presently immersed in significant cultural festivities.

Timisoara, as the designated European Capital of Culture for 2023, and Leeds, which has dedicated the past year to showcasing the pinnacle of its arts, culture, and heritage during Leeds 2023, stand at the forefront of this creative exchange.

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

This enlightening international collaboration will also witness Leeds dispatching “The Nectary,” a visually arresting installation by artist Alison Smith, to Timisoara. Created in partnership with the University of Leeds, this piece has previously been exhibited at Light Night Leeds events and is now gracing Timisoara’s Night Art Festival. It offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the resonance of the earth through a series of colossal, glowing flower heads.

Artist Daniel Popescu has been collaborating with students in Romania to breathe life into their installation before it embarks on its journey to Leeds.

He 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.”

This installation is just one of many making their way to Leeds from countries across the globe, including Australia, France, The Netherlands, and Poland.

Speaking about Light Night, Daniel added: “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 edition, the theme for this year’s Light Night Leeds is “Future Dreaming,” taking inspiration from Leeds 2023. It will feature a collection of pieces from around the world that envision the potential appearance of Leeds and the wider world in the future.

Scheduled for October 12 and 13, numerous iconic buildings, streets, and spaces in the city will be illuminated by a captivating array of over 50 arts installations.

Light Night’s installations are dispersed across various zones, with many generously supported by local businesses or organizations.

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 further information about Light Night Leeds, please visit: https://www.lightnightleeds.co.uk and follow Light Night Leeds on social media.