Semiconductor, HALO, 2020

Unmissable Visual Art and Film Events at Brighton Festival

Discover the incredible range of artists showcasing their work online and around Brighton & Hove this May.

Arrivals and Departures
Somerset House


Fri 30 April - Sat 8 May | FREE

Take a stroll to the Royal Pavilion Gardens to experience an interactive installation by artist duo YARA + DAVINA. ARRIVALS + DEPARTURES celebrates birth, death and the journey in between, inviting visitors to submit the name of someone who has arrived or departed, as a way to celebrate a birth or commemorate a death.

Sci-fi outdoor installation
Points of Departure - Ray Lee

Points of Departure

Sat 1- Sun 23 May

Against the backdrop of night, take a walk through the atmospheric industrial landscape of Shoreham Port and be dazzled by otherworldly sound and light installations by award-winning sound artist, theatre-maker and composer Ray Lee.  Don't miss out, book your tickets now.

Recovery Poems

Sat 1 - Sun 2 May | FREE

Through talking and listening to communities, artists Robert Montgomery, and Deanna Rodgers are creating an inspiring light poem that will visit public spaces throughout the City on the opening weekend of the festival. Spot it live or follow on social media as we emerge from the pandemic.

An illustration of the exterior of Phoenix Art Space by Ottilie Hainsworth
Photo by Ottilie Hainsworth

Window Gallery at Phoenix Art Space: Care

Sat 1 - Sat 30 May | FREE

Take a stroll to the Window Gallery at Phoenix Art Space, to discover a range of work by Phoenix studio artists. The artists have been invited to consider the theme of ‘care’ for a group exhibition. What does care mean within the context of a global pandemic? How we can better care for ourselves, our communities and our environment?

I See Red Film
I See Red at Brighton Festival

I See Red

Sat 1- Mon 31 May | FREE - Online

Miss Represented’s short film gathers material drawn from discussions and work created over the last two terms with young women across secondary schools in Brighton & Hove. I See Red explores questions around anger, things that make them feel angry and why, and how to channel these feelings into something positive.

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This Body Is So Impertinent
At Brighton Festival

this body is so impermanent...

Tue 11 - Wed 12 May | FREE - Online

Theatre director Peter Sellars presents the digital world premiere of this body is so impermanent... a multi-disciplinary filmed performance created in response to COVID-19. Based on a passage from the Buddhist text, Vimalakirti Sutra, this body is so impermanent... was made in isolation by a group of virtuosic and singular artists on three continents, coming together to create an hour-long meditation on this transformative and startlingly honest text. 

An art installation of small trees and branches placed like a forest, inside an old church building
Photo by Tom Thistlethwaite

Olafur Eliasson: The Forked Forest Path

Tue 18 May - Sat 20 June | FREE

Explore the twisting pathways of a fairytale forest that sprang up in the imagination of the internationally renowned Danish–Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The Forked Forest Path is a fully immersive installation that enfolds viewers in the sights, scents and textures of a wood in winter. A trail entices visitors into a dense thicket of branches, boughs and saplings, locally and sustainably sourced from Stanmer Park and Foxwood Foresty near Lewes.  



Wed 19 May - Sat 6 Jun | FREE

HOME presents fascinating, heartbreaking and uplifting stories of ordinary people. MOOP and Mnemoscene have collaborated with members of the public to explore how their collections of everyday objects, photos and documents can be curated to represent our emotional connection with the home and showcase untold narratives that chronicle real people’s lives.

Semiconductor, HALO, 2020


Wed 19 May – Fri 4 June | FREE

HALO is a large-scale immersive installation made by renowned Brighton based artist duo Semiconductor following a residency at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.

HALO is a multisensory experience of matter formation in the early universe generated through projections and sound played out upon hundreds of vertical piano strings. Allowing us to look at and listen to this data gives audiences a sense of something bigger than themselves, inspiring awe and wonder at the complexity of nature, and at the elaborate systems, humans create to understand the world around them.


The Informals II performing
Credits Branislav Grebečí

The Informals II Exhibition

Sat 22 May - Sat 13 Jun 2021 | FREE

The Informals II is an improvised documentary experience: an exhibition and performance, exploring the lives and stories of Brighton’s youths. In a time when the political climate is not representative of them, they use their culture to challenge stigmas and stereotypes and to reclaim public spaces. The installation will bring together audiovisual documentary footage collected by the artists in Brighton. Moving image, text, music and dialogue interlace, calling upon the audience to interact with, and create new narratives and meanings.

The Candle Project
Phote Credit: Rowan Briscoe

The Candle Project

Mon 24 - Fri 28 May | FREE

The Candle Project by artist Abigail Conway is a spectacle and a participatory installation, built over a week by those who visit the space.Participants are invited to make a tapered candle, cast words inside and place it amongst a large-scale candle installation. As the candle slowly burns, remnant messages left behind become glimmering beacons of hope, whispers, for others to discover and take home. A lighting ceremony at the end of the week marks a special moment, a communal burn, after a time of transition for many, perhaps unarticulated.

Robot Selfie at Brighton Festival
Image: Alejandro Veliz Reyes

Robot Selfie

Fri 26 - Mon 31 May | FREE

Take a selfie and Kaleider’s non-learning AI will interpret it into a line drawing. When you are happy with what it comes up with, press submit and your face could join hundreds of others in a giant mural created by a wall-drawing robot. Wherever you are in the world you will be able to submit your selfie and watch via a livestream as the massive mural emerges over four days. Learn more about Robot Selfie and how to get involved.