Web of Light, Biennial Festival, Liverpool

Web of Light, Biennial Festival, Liverpool

Web of Light, Biennial Festival, Liverpool

Type of works: manufacture and installation of stainless steel 'web' for art project.

Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest and most widely reviewed festival of contemporary visual art, commissioning large scale projects for the public to enjoy each year. They had commissioned Al Weiwei, the consultant artist for the 2008 Olympics ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium in Beijing, to create an installation piece. Arup, the global engineering consultancy, was appointed to oversee the project.

The artist Al Weiwei is renowned for taking everyday, familiar objects and translating them into large scale iconic installation pieces. In this instance it was a chrystal chandelier spider on a web, complete with LED lighting along the web and spider. The 19m high structure needed to span Exchange Flags, the largest pedestrianised square in Liverpool, as part of the city’s Biennial festival.

J & J Carter constructed the ‘web’ using 400 metres of stainless steel cables, to which LED lighting was added. The web spans the width and length of the city’s Exchange Flags square and took less than 4 weeks to complete, with J & J Carter taking the challenges of carrying out works in the heavily pedestrianised area in their stride.

Web of Light is one of a show-stopping series of cultural events taking place in Liverpool.

A spokesperson for Arup said: "From a design point of view this was an extremely challenging piece of engineering design and we had to have complete confidence in the manufacture and erection – which we did get from J & J Carter. Also the programme was incredibly tight and from when we first approached them very late in the day they did deliver to the project deadlines.”

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