'Tis the season... to be creative! With the summer holidays behind us thoughts are turning to Christmas and a popular Hampshire visitor experience is offering local school children an amazing opportunity to see their festive designs in lights as part of a breathtaking Christmas light trail.
After a stunning transformation last year, the world-famous Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey are again getting ready to welcome visitors after dark as the stunning Light Up Sir Harold Hillier Gardens At Christmas returns with a brand-new outdoor light trail opening on Thursday 30 November.
And alongside light art installations by international artists and leading designers will be the 'Magical Mystical Christmas Forest' featuring designs created by local school children brought tolife by renowned projectionists Ross Ashton and Karen Monid and projected onto Hillier Gardens' iconic Jermyn's House.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to share what we do with young people, to show them what could be possible for something they made with their imaginations", says Karen.
"That's how it starts and who knows, one of them might go on to become an artist, a sound engineer, a film director, or abotanist - these areas are all connected."
Ross adds: "It's a wonderful way to engage young people's imaginations, it's there for everyone to have a go at - and it'sfun!"
Working as The Projection Studio, double Guinness World Record holders Ross and Karen have projected their work - seen by millions - on to some of the world's most familiar venues including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
Working with Light Up Trails, the award-winning Hampshire-based designers who specialise in bringing wonder in light to inspirational places, Ross and Karen will select ten images to be mapped on the front of Jermyn's House with each child's name. Designs should be delivered in paint, felt tip or craft media and ten entries will be made up and projected onJermyn's House.
The winning entry will receive a £1,000 cash prize for the school's art department and first, second and third prize winners will each receive a complimentary family ticket to visit Light Up Sir Harold Hillier Gardens At Christmas and see their work literally in lights.
"Light Up Sir Harold Hillier Gardens At Christmas is bigger and even better this year," says Light Up Trails director Libby Battaglia.
"It's such a beautiful experience as the magnificent collections of trees and rare plants are illuminated by millions of LED lights in a series of spectacular art installations."
Co-director Lucinda Croft agrees, adding: "The involvement of young people from the region makes Light Up SirHarold Hillier Gardens At Christmas even more distinctive, reflecting the local community and celebrating its creativity."
For more information and entry forms, schools must contact HilierGardens.Education@hants.gov.uk. Deadline for entries is Monday 23October 2023.
The project is supported by Hampshire County Council, Bath Spa University, Arts and Humanities Research Council and Light UpTrails.
With more off-peak times available on week nights and some ticket prices reduced,advance bookings for Light Up Sir Harold Hillier Gardens At Christmas can be made now at www.lightuptrails.com.