Literature Festival creates Lockdown Lantern Installation

23 March – 5 April, Lawrence Batley Theatre Courtyard, Huddersfield 

Link to festival brochure: 

A local festival has created a stunning Lockdown Lantern installation to commemorate a year since the first Covid-19 lockdown (23 March 2020).

The installation, commissioned by Huddersfield Literature Festival (HLF), takes the form of a giant metal tree festooned with willow and tissue lanterns and displays words of hope to inspire the local community as they walk past.

Created by Huddersfield-based Company, AniMATronics Ltd, the tree is on display in the Lawrence Batley Theatre courtyard in Huddersfield from 23 March until Easter Monday, 5 April. 

Matt Kitchen-Dunn, who created the tree, said:  ‘It’s been an honour to be asked to do this commission.  It means a lot to me because I lost my grandma, aged 94, to Covid last year and it’s important that we never forget.”

Performance poet Michelle Scally Clarke read a lockdown poem called ‘Love and Light’ as part of the installation.

Festival Director, Michelle Hodgson, said:

“We hope it will serve as a commemoration, a memorial and an inspiration to remind us of the challenges we have faced in the past year and to look forward to more positive days ahead.”

The tree and the courtyard will be lit up every evening, between 6 pm and midnight, with lanterns created by Colne Valley artist Angie Boycott-Garnett and children from Holmfirth-based Children’s Art School.

The event is being sponsored by Ravenhall Risk Solutions, an independent chartered insurance brokers based in Belfast and Leeds.  Neil Grimshaw, Director of Ravenhall Risk Solutions said, “We are proud to be continuing our sponsorship of the Huddersfield Literature festival for the 8th year. The lantern installation will be a symbol of positivity whilst recognising a challenging year for most.  We hope the installation is an inspiring message of hope and a brilliant contemporary addition to the literature festival for 2021.”

The Festival has now announced its March programme, with many free events taking place online for the second year in a row, due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

This year’s online programme has the theme of ‘Escape’ and events will include a range of talks and workshops.  Community groups across Huddersfield are also being invited to take part in the HLF/Woven Book Trail project by using repurposed fabrics and other recycled materials to recreate a favourite character or scene from a book, with prizes for each area winner and an overall winner.

All booking details and information can be found on the Festival website: