For Immediate Release / May 4, 2023

Incredible Art Installation Dazzles at Children's Festival

Of all the fun happening at this year’s International Children’s Festival of the Arts—from the featured performances to the free activities—one of the most immediately striking offerings will be an inflatable structure, 150 feet long by 100 feet wide, filled with light, colour, and wonder. 

The Daedalum Luminarium is one of UK-based Architects of Air’s group of world-touring pneumatic installations, and it’s coming to Lions Park to give festival guests a unique wandering experience. 

“This is not a bouncy castle,” explains Dani Rice, Visual Arts coordinator for the City of St. Albert. “You're walking through this almost cathedral of colour. It’s quite calming, meditative, and I've even heard some people speak of how it can be almost a spiritual experience.” 

Patrons laying on the ground of a nod in a Luminarium

The Luminarium was originally booked for the 2020 version of Children’s Fest, but its visit was delayed by the pandemic. The wait will be worth it though: designed with accessibility in mind, the Luminarium’s 19 egg-shaped compartments are built to provide curious sightlines and are paired with a reflective, ambient soundscape to fully immerse visitors as they pass through the structure.  

Fittingly, the name is a nod to Dadeylus of Greek mythology: the father of Icarus and builder of the fabled labyrinth of the Minotaur. There’s no monster at the centre here, but its colours may twist and turn depending on the time of one’s visit. 

“The entire thing is lit by the light outside, so there's no artificial lighting inside the piece,” Rice says. “As the day progresses, it actually changes.”  

Child exploring Luminarium

In addition to daytime hours, the Luminarium will be open until 9pm on Friday and Saturday, to accommodate any curious evening crowds.  

Ultimately, Rice hopes that this sort of installation—where visitors are inside the work, rather than in front of it—offers a new entry point to thinking about, and experiencing, art. 

“There’s some kind of stat that the average person looks at a piece of artwork for three seconds and then walks away,” Rice says. “But in these pieces, you are part of the artwork. You become the artwork. And I think people connect with that a little more easily, or they feel a little bit more comfortable in that experience, and it just becomes more special for them. 

“It is truly immersive,” she continues, of the Luminarium. “As you move throughout the artwork, what you see in those shapes and how those colours come together, especially with the light, will change as you go. And then you have this sound component on top, so it's trying to hit all the senses except for smell—which, that's fine,” she laughs. “We don't need to hit that.” 

Article written by: Paul Blinov
Photos by: Dominique Bull

The Daedalum Luminarium will run as part of the Children’s Festival of the Arts from June 1st to 4th.

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Last edited: July 6, 2023