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News release - Issued by Christmas at York Museum Gardens

Local artist commissioned to produce ‘electrifying’ neon installation for Christmas at York Museum Gardens

York’s newest winter attraction, Christmas at York Museum Gardens, is delighted to announce the exclusive commission of a largescale neon installation by Yorkshire Artist, Richard Wheater. The striking piece called ‘Beautiful Hazards’ will be 25m x 17m in size and will sit immediately in front of the museum in all its impressive glory, helping to transform the gardens into a magical yuletide marvel.

For the first time this year, York Museum Gardens is welcoming visitors to a magical after-dark illuminated Christmas trail as the gardens are filled with light, colour and music. Wheater’s eye-catching project will transform the gardens and historic architecture into a landscape of vivid and immersive colour. In creating Beautiful Hazards, the artist has utilised chevron shapes and original neon gas, which is a vibrant crimson, to create an innovative and inspiring work of contemporary art.

Wheater, the founder of Neon Workshops in Wakefield, Yorkshire, said: “The main thread that runs through my work is our relationship with the natural environment. Beautiful Hazards continues in this vein, along with my interest in semiotics. Working with Christmas at York Museum Gardens has afforded me the opportunity to work in a green space in the middle of the city. The effect of the red neon set against the backdrop of the gardens should provide a spectacle for visitors.”

The enormous artwork will use 20 x 10,000-volt transformers and 110 x 3m neon gas-filled clear glass tubes. Not only will the piece look and feel impressive, it will also be a celebration of the historic connection of neon to the area, as the county of Yorkshire was the largest fabricator of neon in the UK until 2003.

Beautiful Hazards is sure to be an electrifying addition to Christmas at York Museum Gardens. The brand-new evening attraction for York offers delights at every turn to capture the imaginations of young and old alike.

The journey begins in a Christmas Courtyard with a vintage funfair ride, UV face painting and delicious festive fare.

Visitors will walk beneath trees drenched with seasonal colour and discover the ‘12 Frames of Christmas’, a rainbow forest of musical trees and a spectacular projection onto the iconic ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. Along the way children can find hidden Christmas messages in a unique game of UV hide-and-seek.

Beautiful Hazards will transform the museum lawn, and children will be captivated by musical tree stumps at the 14th century Hospitium, Father Christmas in his secret workshop, a display of ever-changing coloured mirror balls and an enchanting 20m tunnel of light.

The trail ends with a hypnotic Finale of Fire on the library lawn, and even the chance to toast your own marshmallows in the undercroft’s Fire Bar or enjoy a warming mulled wine or hot chocolate.

Christmas at York Museum Gardens is guaranteed to create enchanting Christmas memories.

Tickets are on sale NOW at

The walk is fully accessible and child friendly. Visitors should allow at least an hour for the visit.


For images and more information please contact Kerry Edwards or Sara Merritt at Bonner and Hindley on / or call 0113 243 4713

For more information on Lunchbox Theatrical Productions Ltd, please go to


Christmas at York Museum Gardens admission:

Thursday 16 November 2017 – Monday 1 January 2018

4.45pm – 9.30pm daily (except Christmas day)

Tickets now on sale at

Box Office 08442 097362 (calls cost 7ppm plus network charges)

Ticket Prices

Adult: £14.95
Child: £8.95 (Aged 16 and under)
Family: £40.00 (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children)
Children under 4: Free

(The transaction fee is £2.00 for E-ticket (Print-at-home) or £2.50 for Standard Delivery. Please note that this fee is per transaction and not per ticket.)

Entry times

Entry to the walk is by timed ticket.

16:45 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30

19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30

It is recommended that visitors book in advance as there will be limited tickets available for each time slot.

About the Artist

Richard Wheater is a British artist, living and working in Wakefield, who works with glass and neon through performance and installation. He found his passion for neon whilst on an exchange with Alfred University in New York. Here, Wheater was inspired by the artists and lecturers he encountered and when he returned to the UK he went on to study glass and neon working. Later down the line, he founded Neon Workshops, a dedicated space in Wakefield for artists and students to work with and produce neon artwork. Since then Richard Wheater has been regularly involved in producing impressive and memorable projects, exhibiting his work alongside other well-known artists such as Tracey Emin.

About Neon Workshops

Neon Workshops specialise in the development and manufacturing of neon lighting for the creative industry. They regularly deliver neon sculpture courses, both locally at their workshop in Wakefield, and through their Mobile Neon Workshops that continue to attract participants from around the world. They also host an annual exhibition programme of neon related work in their gallery space, as well as possibly the UK’s largest resource library on the subject.

About Lunchbox Theatrical Productions

Lunchbox Theatrical Productions is a leading international producer of live entertainment, with companies in the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.

Selling almost one million tickets each year to audiences across five continents, the company specialises in bringing West End and Broadway shows to new overseas markets, as well as touring a wide variety of top quality productions internationally including spectaculars, boutique shows, international artists, plays, ice shows, children’s shows and events. Originally founded in 1992 in Hong Kong by former private banker James Cundall, and now headquartered in the UK, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions works with a number of international producing partners.

In the UK, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions/Lunchbox Events runs Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland in York – the home of The Ice Factor open-air ice rink and a vintage funfair – as well as THOR’S tipi bars in York, Leeds, Sheffield, Lincoln, Hull, Milton Keynes and London’s Regent’s Place and Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

About Raymond Gubbay Ltd

Founded in 1966 by Raymond Gubbay, Raymond Gubbay Ltd is recognised as being at the forefront of promoting and producing popular classical music, opera, ballet and events in the United Kingdom. The company now regularly presents over 500 performances each year in London, around the UK and abroad.