It’s not just what’s inside that counts when Liverpool’s Central Library re-opens next month.
Some very special interactive animations will be projected on the outside of the building on the 16th and 17th May to celebrate the public opening of the library (on the 17th) which has undergone more than two years of intricate restoration.
Taking inspiration from what the public will be able to find in the new-look venue, the façade of Picton Library will be transformed into a giant bookcase, featuring 16 works such as John James Audubon’s Birds of America, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, The Mersey Sound by Roger McGough, Brian Patten and Adrian Henri and Her Benny by Silas Hocking.
A carousel containing the books which are projected on the walls will be found outside the library and selected members of the public will be invited to turn the carousel in order to choose a book – and whatever they pick will magically appear on the façade.
If someone chooses Birds of America the feathered stars of the book will fly out of the pages and perch over the library. If Alice in Wonderland is selected, Alice will leap from window to window, peering into the newly refurbished library.
The show starts at around 9.15pm on the 16th running until 10pm and on the 17th from 9.15pm until midnight.
The team behind the projections are digital experts Illuminos whose innovative work has been seen across the country, recently working in Liverpool creating two outdoor cinemas in the Dingle and Edge Hill.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “There is a huge amount of anticipation around the re-opening of Central Library and we want to make it a special event.
“Our literary festival In Other Words will build the excitement from the 23 April, and the projections the team at Illuminos are creating, which will be on display near the culmination of the festival, will be a fantastic way to mark this cultural gem’s new lease of life.
“Their work is a real homage to the treasures which can be found in the building and will strike a chord with the thousands of visitors who we hope will descend on William Brown Street.”
Rob Vale from Illuminos, said: “It’s already been really interesting delving into the library collection, and seeing the amazing new facilities that everyone can enjoy.
“Through the projection artwork we’re hoping to bring the building to life, to catch some of that sense of wonder that we can all experience when we open a book and our imaginations run wild.
“This is what the new library can offer and we can’t wait for people to see what a superb job has been done with the building.”
In Other Words
In Other Words events start on Tuesday 23 April when Liverpool plays host to national World Book Night which will take place outside of London for the first time.
World renowned authors Philippa Gregory, Jasper Fforde, Jeanette Winterson, Patrick Ness, Jackie Kay and Frank Cottrell Boyce will be appearing at a special ‘World Book Night Presentsâ¦’ event held in St George’s Hall.
The festival is being curated in partnership with Writing on the Wall, with the aim to make it a literary festival with a difference, appealing to established and budding writers and literary lovers alike. There is an emphasis on bringing events not only to high profile city buildings, but also to venues in various communities.
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The reopening of the library on Friday 17 May coincides with LightNight which unlocks the doors of Liverpool’s world class museums, galleries and heritage sites offering spectacular light projections, interactive street theatre, a big samba party, thought-provoking exhibitions, open studios, a free running workshop, violin concerts, a late night food and drink festival, a candle-lit labyrinth, craft bombing, Chinese arts showcase, architecture tours, a late night Ceilidh, Lindy Hop, Jive, Rock and Roll and much more! Running from 4pm to late, more than 130 free events are open to the public.
Building work began on the library in November 2010 and was completed in January 2014. Currently, more than four million items ranging from books, DVDs archives and records are in the process of being returned to their new home. The library is a PFI contract and the project is worth £50m.