Event Opening: LIGHTSCAPE (Brooklyn Botanical Garden)

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by Gregory Bernard on November 18, 2021

in Art and Museums,Theater-New York


Lightscape is Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s after-dark, illuminated spectacular that brings out the beauty of winter with a magical trail which winds through BBG’s 52-acre landscape. Animated by over one million dazzling lights, the enchanting, entrancing, enriching, enamoring, enthralling, environmental, enwrapping, encompassing wonderment is New York City’s newest must-see holiday event. And it’s now open.

Lightscape takes visitors on an immersive trail where they encounter monumental light installations, colorful light displays highlighting the Garden’s trees, landscapes, and architecture, site-specific music and sounds, and awe-inspiring views around every turn. Lightscape runs from November 19, 2021 through January 9, 2022. Get your date and entrance time at BBG.

More than 18 works of light art will be on view, among them the Winter Cathedral tunnel, Fire Garden in Oak Circle, Sea of Light, an animated light installation covering Cherry Esplanade, and a series of new light-based artworks by local artists.

Lightscape 2021 Highlights
By the Numbers
Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden includes:
Over 1 million lights along a 1-mile-long path utilizing:
60,000 pea lights
630 lighting fixtures
600 strands of lights
60 Gobos (Go Between Optics)
It will take 20 people over 18 days to install Lightscape and there will be:
14,000 glowing orbs of light
A 98-foot-long Winter Cathedral tunnel
42 sculptures
5 new poems by Jacqueline Woodson projected in light
20 treetop Wisp sculptures
13 miles of cabling
12 Pampas grass sculptures
8 Flynn “chandeliers”
5 giant White Peonies
2 lasers
1 Wish Tree

International Artists

Among the highlights of Lightscape at BBG are monumental light sculptures created by international artists including Flynn, Wish Tree, Poleen, and Wisp by Pitaya, a French creative studio founded by David Lesort and Arnaud Giroud; and Pampas and White Peonies by TILT, a French artistic studio that focuses on the exploration of light and its interplay with art, architecture, and space.

Sea of Light by ITHACA, an award-winning company of light artists, sound designers, composers, editors, and experimenters based in the UK, is an animated light installation covering Cherry Esplanade with breathtaking views from the Robert W. Wilson Overlook.

Winter Cathedral by Mandylights, a multidisciplinary production and lighting design house based in the UK and Australia, is a nearly 100-foot tunnel adorned with tens of thousands of individual LED lights. Guests enter the installation—with a shape based on a traditional Gothic arch—at one end and walk through to the smaller tapered exit on the other side. This immersive, welcoming tunnel of warm light is equally spectacular when viewed from the inside or out.

Other attractions include the Fire Garden, produced by Ashley Bertling, which uses bespoke structures to fill the garden with real fire (from candles) accompanied by seasonal music, and Laser Pond, designed by Fog-Man, in which lasers beam across the water in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden in time to music, taking the surface reflection with them and creating shapes that rise into the sky.

Local Artists

BBG is excited to work with several New York artists on new site-specific works for Lightscape. Celebrated author and poet (and Brooklyn resident) Jacqueline Woodson has written site-specific poems, collectively called Remember the Light Inside You. Projected on trees, shrubs, and hillocks near Bluebell Wood, Woodson’s narrative adds a nearly spiritual dimension to this secular installation by asking participants to engage their senses completely in the wonders of nature during the darkest time of the year.

In the north end of the Plant Family Collection is A Theorem: Remembered by Jacob M Fisher, an American installation artist living and working in New York City. The work makes dynamic use of string and light to create a contemporary take on a holiday tree.

Near the Rock Garden, Pathways by Challenge Your Imagination uses lasers to draw connections between trees and light the path forward. Challenge Your Imagination is a creative studio founded by Asher Young.

Christopher Wren’s One World will be installed in the scarlet oak–lined memorial path that borders Cherry Esplanade.

Other Attractions

Lightscape makes dramatic use of BBG’s living and built landscapes—its majestic trees, curving landscape, and historic buildings—by bathing them in dramatic sprays of color and patterns. Along the trail, visitors will hear a curated soundtrack representing the diversity of Brooklyn’s religious and ethnic winter cultural traditions. Concessions along the trail will offer hot drinks, light fare, and a roast-your-own s’mores station.


Nonmember regular admission tickets are $34 for adults and $18 for children ages 3–12. BBG member regular admission tickets are $30 for adults and $16 for children ages 3–12. Children 2 and under enter free.

photos courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden
winter cathedral photo by Patrick Cullina

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