The sun comes to Preston

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We don’t often see the sun shining in Preston – especially not at night.

However, this weekend Preston residents were able to bask in its glow on the Flag Market, thanks to a special event.

Artists David Henckel and Dan Wilkinsonilluminated the market over the course of two days with their Sun at Night project.

The Arts Council England and the University of Central Lancashire funded project used high definition footage from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, in a bid to show the sun in all its glory.

The amazing project allowed the public, for the first time, experience a year’s worth of NASA solar images compressed into a half hour film.

The footage was displayed on a slowly rotating cylindrical screen constructed by Preston company Touchline Fabrications.

Artist David said: “When the cylinder screen was rotating you could see the audience following its movements which is exactly what myself and Dan wanted.

“We accompanied the rotation of the cylinder with quite a sinister soundtrack which people actually said felt like they were listening to the sun.”

The eye-catching creation was witnessed by more than 200 people. It began at 7.30pm on Saturday and Sunday and continued until the early hours of the morning.

Expert Stephen Halliwell spoke on Sunday night about Preston’s very own 19th century astronomer, Moses Holden.

Professor Robert William Walsh, director of UCLan’s Research and Innovation Office also gave a talk on both nights about the sun.

David said: “Our aim was to do something different and engage people in a combination of science and art without the barriers that other modern day exhibits have.

“It was a fantastic event and a great experience working across the different departments within UCLan.

“Hopefully we will be able to take the project to wider audiences in the future.”




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