Nottingham Line of Light Art Installation


5th - 24th November


Karlsruhe Friendship Bridge, Station Street, Nottingham


Jo Fairfax, commissioned by Nottingham City Council

A great project between Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and Nottingham City Council will be launching soon.

‘Line of Light’, created by artist Jo Fairfax, will project five-word poems by writers including Byron, Lawrence and Ovid, as well as current Nottinghamshire residents, onto the underside of the Karlsruhe Friendship Bridge over Station Street.  Two sets of parallel lines, mirroring the tram tracks above, will light up and pulse whenever a tram goes overhead.  Patterns of light will continue under the tram tracks to the canal, finishing with a projection of Nottingham lace.  The poems will change every day for a year and will include suggestions or specially written works from other UNESCO Cities of Literature and over 100 members of the public.

We will be showing each line of poetry on this page, with context and where you can find out more about the author.


The art installation was commissioned by Nottingham City Council for the recently pedestrianised Station Street as part of the regeneration of this part of the city centre, which also includes the Townscape Heritage programme in the Carrington Street area and the forthcoming transformation of the Broadmarsh area.  ‘Line of Light’ will be switched on in time for Nottingham’s Festival of Literature (8 to 13 November), which will feature international writers including Amit Chaudhuri, Gillian Slovo, Sheila Rowbotham and Alison Moore.

“The inspiration for ‘Line of Light’ comes directly from Nottingham and the exact location was a significant influence on the overall design.  I also wanted to celebrate the wonderfully rich literary position that Nottingham holds."

Jo Fairfax, Artist


The artist, Jo Fairfax said: “Although ‘Line of Light’ is rooted in local references, I wanted the poems to be international and across time.  I researched thousands of poems, which was an amazingly enriching and humbling journey.  Ex-Poet Laureate Andrew Motion sent in a poem, John Hegley wrote one especially for the project and we also received a line from Jake Bugg.  In the end I went with my instinct of what would look just right on the Station Street wall – it wasn’t a qualitative decision because all the poems were amazing.  I want each line to act as a depth charge for people’s imaginations and souls as they go about their business.”