A beacon for creativity and entertainment for more than 40 years Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, is to beam a unique light artwork into the night sky in November to signal its resilience and re-emergence from the dark days of the pandemic. 

Thanks to funding from BCP Council and supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Poole BID, Lighthouse will host the projection of American artist Yvette Mattern’s stunning The Global Rainbow over Poole and eastwards towards Hengistbury Head. After dark on Thursday 18, Friday 19 and Saturday 20 November the artwork will illuminate the community and signal not only the restart of a major arts organisation, but also become a visual beacon of hope across Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch. 

The Global Rainbow is a large-scale public art light installation that beams seven rays of laser light to represent the colour spectrum of a natural rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet – and create a natural perspective horizon arc, like that of a rainbow. 

“Lighthouse is absolutely delighted to receive this grant funding for a work that will stand as a shining example of Poole’s spirit and pride as our community looks forward to a brighter future,” says Lighthouse Chief Executive Elspeth McBain. 

“The rainbow has long been considered a symbol of hope, thanks and promise so there is no better way to demonstrate our confidence in what lies ahead than to host this amazing, innovative artwork that will be seen for miles around. It literally puts Poole on the map.” 

Depending on the weather conditions its trajectory, or viewing spectrum, is up to 60km meaning it should be visible from as far afield as Winchester and Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. 

“The presentation is poetic, magical and powerful,” says Yvette Mattern. “It encompasses the skyline and its viewing perspective is as ephemeral as viewing a natural rainbow. Theoretically and symbolically its presentation encompasses geographical and social diversity in its reach throughout distinct points across the globe.” 

The Global Rainbow, which has been presented in major cities including New York, Berlin, Tokyo and Toronto, is part of the reopening programme that has already seen the successful return of Lighthouse: OUTSIDE, the outdoors performance season, and will keep a spotlight on Poole by filling the gap between summer events and the lead up to Christmas when Lighthouse will be producing a family pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, in-house for the first time in a generation. 

Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy at BCP Council, said: “Following a competitive application process, we are pleased to award this grant to Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts. This project is just one of many initiatives that our latest package of discretionary support will now bring to life. It will contribute towards Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s reputation as a place where businesses can continue to flourish and grow.” 


Published 29 July 2021