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The Star of Bethlehem - give it a whirl!

Posted By : Marie Thomas Saturday 19th November 2016

Our new Christmas installation, Star of Bethlehem, is up and running. Created by coding artist Jayson Haebich and curated by our arts advisor, Jacquiline Creswell, the Star is made by projecting light onto a transparent screen and appears as a morphing geometrical shape, moving slowly and gracefully above the Cathedral’s Spire crossing.


Viewers can imanipulate the installation, changing the Star's shape and colour via an iPad near our William Pye font. Yesterday guides and visitors were already enjoying the interaction, with their own stellar creations projected for all to see. Visible throughout the day, the star is at its brighest when light levels are low.


Jayson Haebich, the creator of the Star, said:

“It has been exciting working with the Cathedral and Jacquiline on this piece, which responds to theme of the 'Star of Bethlehem'. Creating a highly technical and contemporary light installation that works within a very ancient and important heritage listed building posed some unique challenges, but I am very happy with the result and the fact that people who enter the cathedral can engage with it. Even while we were setting up the piece there was a lot of interest in the interactive aspect of it and I look forward to seeing how it will go over the coming months.”


Canon Dr Robert Titley, Canon Treasurer, said:

“The Advent and Christmas seasons tell us about the light of Christ shining in the darkness and the star which guides the Wise men to the child Jesus in Bethlehem. This modern-day star ‘Star of Bethlehem’ embodies the hope and expectation of this important period in the church calendar.”


Since its installation staff have been exploring the Star’s full potential and how it could be used around the Darkness to Light Procession on 25, 26 and 27 November. The Star currently appears in 2D during the day but our photographer, Ash Mills, joined us for a late night trial using haze, which causes the Star to become three-dimensional. The resulting pictures, using timelapse and long exposures, are extraordinary. Check them out in our picture gallery here.

The installation will be in place until Thursday 2 February 2017