Arboria is a luminarium currently housed in Cathedral Square, as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival. I paid my $5, queued for about ten minutes, then entered a magical world. Shoes had to be removed, because the structure’s made of thin plastic, just like a bouncy castle. Children (there were many) were warned not to run around or slide down the walls, but these warnings were often ignored.
All the light comes from sunlight shining through the coloured plastic. The individual pieces have been cut and glued together by hand in a workshop in Nottingham, England. The structure takes twenty minutes to inflate or deflate, and has had to be taken down a couple of times because of strong Canterbury winds. Even on a cloudy day the colours were wonderful. In the main dome the lights seemed like bright neon. People sat and observed in the many alcoves. A truly amazing, and very different experience.
“It was a time of sheer delight
to wander through these paths of light.”