On a stormy night last October artist Robyn Woolston placed 124 lights inside Deane Road Cemetery in Kensington, Liverpool.

Woolston described ‘Shadow/Light’ as “A temporary, site-specific, light installation that illuminated a point of ‘connection’ and reverence between past and present, between the history of the location and the legacy that remains as a result of the families buried within.”

Deane Road Cemetery pre-restoration had many broken walls, fallen and broken headstones and an air of sadness. The burial ground of these once affluent Jewish people who had helped develop Liverpool into the thriving city it became, were left neglected until recent years.

For one evening, lights placed within the broken walls, on top of damaged headstones and along the uneven ground paid homage to this forgotten population. It was a deeply moving experience to gather within the space and silently watch the flickering light installation.

Over recent years, a committee of local people have worked together to help restore Deane Road Cemetery to its former glory. With the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the façade has been fully restored to its Victorian splendour and 100 gravestones are in the process of being raised and restored. A community garden area and visitor exhibition space now allow people to enter and pay their respects once again.

On Thursday September 27th from 8-9.30pm, Robyn will reprise her installation in the newly restored cemetery as part of the Independents Biennial.

For ‘Shadow/Light/Reprise’ 124 lights will once again be placed within the cemetery. Along the newly laid paths, on top of stones that have been carefully lifted back into their rightful places and on recently discovered children’s gravestones. In celebration not only of the restoration but of the people buried there and the legacy they have left within Liverpool.

27 September
Dean Road Cemetery
Dean Road, Kensington

pic: Ian Ramsay

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