Launch of the Cooper Gallery’s ‘Bright’ good installation begins with a tribute to Dickie Bird

It is exciting times at the Cooper Gallery, the town’s dynamic art space.

Thursday, 28 November sees not only the opening of the newly renovated Cooper Cottage but also the launch of an innovative, outdoor, digital installation in the gallery’s outdoor space. Both are being revealed for the very first time to coincide with the launch of Barnsley’s spectacular winter festival ‘Bright Nights’.

The £125,000 renovation project and digital installation has taken place thanks to funding from Arts Council England, who supports activities across the arts museums and libraries. 

The refurbishment has transformed an empty cottage at the rear of the gallery into a modern artist studio space, with exhibition areas and a café. The investment has also helped to develop a digital art work installation, which can be seen throughout the studio and courtyard to encourage the development and exhibition of new innovative content.

The installation ‘Garden of Light’ is a new digital installation from the Awekids Collective. On permanent display in the Cooper Gallery garden, the piece will illuminate the outdoor area and take visitors on a journey through the space using music, sound and projection.  Unique music generated from plants in the garden forms the soundtrack for the piece, whilst projected video and UV content inspired by Galley’s collections add a variety of eye catching visuals.

To launch this monumental time in the Gallery’s history, the day will begin with the opening of ‘Portraits of Dickie Bird’ by Lorna May Wadsworth.  A first for the Gallery, the display of never before seen portraits of Dickie Bird, OBE will be hosted in the newly renovated café area of the Cottage for people to enjoy while they relax and socialise.

Lorna May Wadsworth is a Sheffield born, London based artist and will be displaying her stunning work in the Cooper Cottage as part of the artist’s retrospective exhibition ‘Gaze’ at the Graves gallery, Sheffield.

The celebrations will continue into the evening with the official opening of the Cooper Cottages and launch of ‘Garden of Light’ which will make up part of the spectacular trail of light based installations for  ‘Barnsley Bright Nights’ 2019

David Shepherd, Service Director Regeneration & Culture said:

Barnsley Museums continue to take on innovative new projects that will excite and amaze visitors.  The new space will provide essential support for emerging local artists as well as enabling the gallery to display a stunning new permanent, external installation inspired by their outstanding collections – a first for the town.  The launch of the new Cooper Cottage and the installation is a perfect way to start the Bright Nights Festival.