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Factory International’s First Breath installation lights up Manchester skyline

The highly anticipated Factory International opened their first installation with a powerful beam of light illuminating the night sky on New Year's Day

Factory International say that First Breath is a celebration of new life across Greater Manchester.

From 1 to 29 January 2023, powerful beams of light will shoot up high above the city skyline and slowly pulse to represent the moment that a baby takes its first gasp of air.

The installation has been curated and designed by world-renowned visual artist Luke Jerram, to connect the ground to the sky in a visual representation of new life.

Speaking about the installation, Luke said: “Over 70 babies are born each day in Greater Manchester.

“Disconnected and yet going through this life-changing experience at the same time, I wanted to reveal, celebrate and connect this hidden community of people giving birth.

“This new artwork is designed to celebrate the extraordinary moment when a baby takes their First Breath and a new life arrives in the world.”

Luke Jerram

And we cannot wait for Factory International to open, with a jam packed roster of art from Yayoi Kusama, plays including F**K M*ss Saigon, and much much more planned.

You can see what’s on here.

Factory even got a shout out from the Guardian last week as one of the ‘must sees’ for 2023, as national interest continues to get bigger and bigger about this great addition to the city.

First Breath is located on the construction grounds of the new Factory International building with beams of light visible from far and wide, quite an introduction of the new venue to the city.

They are encouraging people to get up close and interact with the installation.

They said: “We’re inviting you to experience the lights up close.

“Why not wrap up warm and wander through the beams of light, capturing your own images and memories?

“First Breath’s open to anyone who wants to experience some extra light in their lives this winter and welcome in a new year and new life.

“Think of it like a broadcast – a message of hope for the future, reminding us of new possibilities. We reckon it’s going to be a good year for Greater Manchester, don’t you?”

The exhibition is free to attend, and is open from four to ten pm each evenings (except Mondays 9, 16 and 23 January).

They have recommended a visit after 5pm to get the full effect of the lights under darkness.

You can find the main entrance to the First Breath site on Water Street at the bottom of Liverpool Road.

Better still, why not just follow the light?

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