Bella Skyway Festival

For artists

Eight editions of the international light festival Bella Skyway turned out to be a great success — thousands of people admired the light installations which transformed the Old Town of Toruń into a magical space for creative, artistic actions. We hope that the ninth edition which will take place from the 22nd until 27th of August 2017 will continue this success story. We encourage you to fill in the application form (until 9th of April 2017) and send visualizations of your artistic projects, which could be included in the Bella Skyway Festival program. If you have any questions or doubts, please contact Marta Kęsy – the coordinator of Bella Skyway Festival.

Fluid Cosmos

All entities move and nothing remains still
Heraclitus

The aliveness of a city depends on the bond between its water and its flow of dreams
Gaston Bachelard

Bella Skyway is a rare breed of Light Festival, a celebration of both the particular cityscape of Toruń and the urban communication of scientific ideas. In its ninth edition, Bella Skyway turns to Water through the lens of Light to celebrate locality, its landscapes and a region but also a playful spirit of curiosity, change and movement.

This year, we have imagined different ways for Light to enter into an aesthetic dialogue with Water. Light, arguably the source of All Life – on the most fundamental level through photosynthesis, but also in religious myth is perceived by us Humans essentially in relation with material surfaces it touches – the lights we see in the landscape or in artworks are the result of the play between colours and shadows. Water is not only the very humus of Life, the origin of our species, but a fundamental element in our Being. And in this sense, Bella Skyway ‘17 – where Water becomes Light and Light becomes Water – echoes ecosophical principles concerning the very way we should use and experience water in our everyday. In this context, the river Wisla is not only an extraordinary urban asset in the landscape, but a truly wise witness to the development of our awareness.

Programme strategy – 5 Thematic axes

We expect the programme to present innovative Water & Light situations, reminding us of key scientific ideas. We also expect the programme to evoke the many ways we relate to water, be it in the perspective of the Past or of the Future. We want Contemporary artists to feel inspired to share their boldest visions and experimentations with the visitors.

  • Experience vs. Technology – we want to remind the participating public of a wide range of possible ways to experience the spectacle of the aquatic, as designed by the various technical possibilities available today. Contemporary state-of-the art experiments are the constructivist side of the complex phenomenology of Water.
  • Pleasure vs. Danger – water plays an important part in many childhood memories. But often it also stands for deadly phenomena – see the heavily mediatized events following the Katrina hurricane… So here we want the artworks to express contrasting angles on the perception of Water both as a source of satisfaction and fear.
  • Symbol vs. Physics – basically a very simple substance, water may change state (solid, liquid, gaseous and, in very rare circumstances, a plasma-like state). With a most simple molecular structure it is at the centre of a whole range of religious symbolism and cognitive tensions: chaos and order, creation and destruction, life and death… but besides the fact that myth is an extra-ordinary modality of time, ingrained in the collective unconscious the symbol can play a role in a non-reductionist approach science. In a structuralist approach to culture, that is what great artists do with the mythical legacies they deal with, their work taking into consideration the latest developments in scientific research, as well as concern with a broad cultural background.
  • Global Vital Commodity vs. Natural Element of the Cosmos – we expect the artworks to engage us in challenging civilizational issues, concerning the way Water is (or not) a public value, more than just an economic asset and certainly a fundamental element in Nature.
  • Tradition vs. Innovation – We know the Wisla is the mythical crib of Poland, the country’s longest and largest river. A symbol of connectivity (the Hanseatic League), the Wisla has been a transportation device, while, etymologically, its name comes from the idea of flowing slowly! This axis will see the Festival acknowledging the very urban presence of the Wisla, a silent witness of our relation not only with the past, but also especially with the future.

In the near future, all the secrets of waters might not be unravelled. But dreams, fuelled by the visions of art, will continue to make us enter into a challenging dialogue with the Cosmos. So, let Light inspire us to enjoy a great ride of fluidity and fun! Everything will flow.