In the Fire Garden by Bob Day

Back in October 2019, a world ago now, Newbury town centre played host to Cie Carabosse, French artists and pyrotechnicians who staged a “Fire Garden” as part of the Corn Exchange’s celebration of 10 years of outdoor events programming.  For three consecutive evenings they took over the Market Place, St Nicolas Churchyard and the roads and alleyways in between, set them ablaze with light, and populated them with fantastical and eerie creatures.

Wandering through the spectacle, I was struck not just by the enjoyment it brought to all those on the streets, but also by the surreal sight of the town lit only by the candlelight, taking it and us back to pre-industrial days.  Individual scenes often had an almost ritualistic feel, as if harking back to an unremembered time in Newbury’s past.  I hope that this set of photographs captures some of those impressions from those few enchanted and enchanting evenings.

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