jo fairfax projects poetry lines in nottingham to celebrate its literary history jo fairfax projects poetry lines in nottingham to celebrate its literary history
feb 20, 2017

jo fairfax projects poetry lines in nottingham to celebrate its literary history

awarded the UNESCO city of literature status, nottingham is fueled by a rich history. for that, british artist jo fairfax celebrates with a lighting installation where poetry lines are projected onto the tram wall for commuters and evening passengers. from local, national and international poets, fairfax wants each line to deeply charge people’s imagination and soul as they go about their everyday business.

jo fairfax line of light nottingham designboom
poem by robert powell



wanting to reference the nottingham lace, jo fairfax‘s ‘line of light’ adopts a font and border made from fine dots. but most importantly, the projector is programmed to change the poem line each night for a year. for every visual, there are two sensors located near the tram track that detect movement which in turn activate various patterns in the lines of light under the bridge. no two moments are the same but when a tram passes by, the lights revert back to one of the various programmed effects.

jo fairfax line of light nottingham designboom
poem by li shangyin 



this animated movement continues under the tram track overhang, down trent street, until it reaches the arch over the canal. at this point, the pace of the ‘line of light’ varies and there is a slow changing color wash under the bridge to highlight the arch brickwork. finally, the installation is wrapped up with a gobo projection of a circle of white lace. the lines of poetry are received from former poet laureate andrew motion, john hegley, jake bugg and the dylan thomas centre.

jo fairfax line of light nottingham designboom
poem by federico garcia lorca

poem by allegra nancini barker 

poem by D H Lawrence

poem by federico garcia lorca

poem by dylan thomas



nottingham lights
video courtesy of  jo fairfax

gobo projection of lace

immersive and intimate lighting effects give evening passengers a reflective experience



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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