Back to Blog

Experience York Minster in a different light this Autumn

Following the near sell-out success of Northern Lights in 2019, York Minster is preparing to host another sound and light projection for October half term – Platinum and Light.

The new installation will illuminate the Minster’s cavernous Nave each evening between the 20 and 27 October, lighting up its ceiling and running down the cathedral’s West End, while surrounding viewers with dramatic soundscapes and music.

The installation has been designed by Ross Ashton and Karen Monid, the artists behind multi-award winning Northern Lights, and takes inspiration from Her Late Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the cathedral’s architecture and historic collections.

Image credit: Anthony Chappel-Ross

It uses precious metals through the ages, including gold, silver and platinum, to journey through points in York and the Minster’s history and their royal connections.

The story starts with the birth of metals, taking viewers on a journey into the stars before dramatic supernova create all the metals of the universe.

“Platinum is obviously a strong theme for 2022, marking a historic milestone in the reign of Her Late Majesty the Queen,” explained projection artist Ross Ashton. “We took this as a starting point to explore the metals of the universe, and how we use these to mark time across the centuries.

“We wanted to bring this back to York and look at stories which specifically come from the city, using the Minster’s historic collection and architecture as reference points. So we start by exploring the Viking influence here through iron, reference Constantine who was proclaimed Roman Emperor here in the 4th century and end with the ‘modern’ metal platinum.”

Image credit: Anthony Chappel-Ross

Viewers will visit a Viking smith at work and take an underwater journey inspired by miracles told in the cathedral’s medieval St Cuthbert Window, before seeing white roses and crown jewels from the past and present decorate the Nave.

The dramatic audio for the artwork has been created by designer and audio artist Karen Monid, and includes music from the Choir of York Minster alongside readings in Old Norse and Middle English, with specially sourced recordings of music used in British Coronations and from Yorkshire-based musicians Mookie and the Bab.

“To be invited back again to use this space, one of the most beautiful places in the world, to produce an artwork is a fantastic privilege,” explained Karen. “The reaction we had last time for Northern Lights blew us away and we hope people will enjoy this new installation in the same way.”

Image credit: Anthony Chappel-Ross

The cathedral’s Nave will be cleared of chairs for the events and the projection will be shown twice during each time slot, allowing people to move location and experience the installation from a different perspective.

The events will help raise funds for the Minster’s current project to conserve the medieval St Cuthbert Window - one of the largest surviving narrative windows in Europe - and the stonework of its surrounding South Quire Transept.

Event details

The events will open on Thursday 20 October with the first show at 9pm – 9.30pm, and then run daily until Thursday 27 October with two showings each evening at 7.30pm – 8.00pm and 9pm – 9.30pm.

On Sunday 23 October the shows will be at the earlier times of 6.30pm – 7.00pm and 8pm – 8.30pm, and these showings also have a reduced capacity.

Tickets are available now via the website and cost £7.50 each, or £25 for a family ticket for up to two adults and two children (aged 16 and under). You can also book tickets by contacting the York Minster Box Office on 01904 557200.

Doors will open approximately 30 minutes beforehand. The projection will be shown twice during each time slot and the experience will last approximately 30 minutes in total.

Book your ticket now!

*Please note that the projection includes flashing lights and loud music and audio in places. It is a standing-only event and the Nave will be cleared of chairs. There will be limited seating available for those who need it but this may have a restricted view of the projection.

Promotional blog written by York Minster

You may also like

River Ouse 614164927
Weddings white

Bedern Hall Wedding Reception Venue

JCS 1 1756054862
Things to do white