Passage lights

United Visual Artists have created a light and sound installation for the Two Tunnels Greenway, a new walking and cycling route in the UK.

A new public artwork is giving pedestrians and cyclists a rare opportunity to experience the history of the United Kingdom’s rail industry through a light and sound installation.

Passage by London-based design studio United Visual Artists (UVA) is the latest public artwork commissioned for charity Sustrans. Located in the Combe Down Tunnel between Bath and Milford in the UK, Passage forms part of a six-and-a-half-kilometer stretch of disused railway line, which has been transformed by Sustrans into a groundbreaking new walking and cycling path.

Drawing upon the idea of the historic railway and inspired by the old train’s light refractors, UVA designed a series of cast-iron sentinels. The design studio collaborated with Mira Calix, who composed 16 viola and cello scores that link to the lighting along the tunnel. The effect is a spatially distributed soundtrack, conducted by members of the public as they move through the tunnel. Unique digital software is used to determine the speed at which visitors are travelling to regulate the pace of the soundtrack.  

We hope the installation will encourage people in the tunnel to experience this unique changing environment, says Matt Clark of UVA.

Passage was officially launched on 19 July 2013, and will continue to light up the Two Tunnels Greenway, which connects Milford and Bath Queen Square.  

Watch the Talk with United Visual Artists (UVA)