Trip the light fantastic

Image courtesy of Paul Melling Photography
Image courtesy of Paul Melling Photography
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The artist behind the ‘rainbow’ which will beam across Preston after dark tonight has promised a stunning show.

Yvette Mattern, the New York-born artist behind the ‘Global Rainbow’ laser show, said she had been “blown away” by the success of the show during its stint in the North East.

The show, which is made up of several different coloured lasers which form a rainbow, shone out from a lighthouse on the coastline near Whitley Bay for five days until Sunday.

It is due to start a four-day show in Preston from 7pm tonight, beamed from Preston Dock.

Eagle-eyed people were treated to a sneak preview last night when the lights were tested.

It marks the start of the Cultural Olympiad which celebrates the arrival of the Olympic Games in Britain and will also form part of Preston’s Guild celebrations.

Mrs Mattern said: “I came to Preston about a year ago when we started with this project and I was really struck by the diversity of the place, it is a really multi-cultural community and that is what the rainbow is all about.

“I have done some research about the Guild and it’s a great opportunity for me to be part of it.

“It is obviously a time which has great significance for the city.

“I love the tradition of it all and it’s an honour to be asked to play a part in that.”

She revealed the inspiration behind the show came from a rainbow she saw on New Year’s Day 2007 from a reserve in the area of Waldon Pond in Massachusetts.

She said: “It was a life-changing vision for me, honestly, that rainbow changed my life and I just thought to myself ‘why not create my own rainbow?’

“That is where the idea stemmed from but it took me until 2009 for it to become a reality.

“We set up the first show in New York and even though the laser was nowhere near as powerful as the one we’ll use in Preston, it was really quite magical.”

The New York event celebrated Martin Luther Day and it was projected from a skyscraper in downtown Manhattan.

The Global Rainbow will beam across Preston until midnight tonight following a special event attended by gold medallist triple-jumper Jonathan Edwards at the Harris Museum and Library.

The laser show will continue from 6pm until midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.