“Memory and Light” at Belsay Hall

“Memory and Light” at Belsay Hall

The PERSPEX® brand sponsors a special installation at Belsay Hall, Northumberland

Born in Estonia in September 1935, Arvo Pärt is the most performed living composer in the world, whose life and music represent a drive for freedom and invention, against the odds. “Memory and Light” installation, curated by Clare Farrow and supported by PERSPEX® brand, was inspired by Pärt’s words:

“I could compare my music to white light, which contains all colours. Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.” 

A transparent curved screen made from PERSPEX® Vario acrylic and fabricated by Talbot Designs, represents the prism in composer’s poetic description. It is a high screen that surrounds the listening bench shaped as violin, where visitors could sit, observe the room and experience Pärt’s music and use their imagination to picture scenes and images in response to this multi-sensory installation.

“Memory and Light” was first commissioned by London Design Festival in 2018, for Victoria and Albert’s Museum’s 18th-century Norfolk Houses Music Room. The installation has now been re-imagined for the Library in Belsay Hall, which is regarded as the first English country house to have been built entirely in the Greek Revival Style.

Clare Farrow said: “It has been a unique experience to reimagine ‘Memory & Light’ with Arup designers Stephen Philips, Ned Crowe and Ed Elbourne, for the r­emarkable wood-panelled Library in Belsay Hall, which is so imbued with memories and history. This interaction between the past and the present is extraordinarily moving, and the dialogue between nature, music, design and words, made possible here, is very special.”  

“Memory and Light” runs at Belsay Hall until 12th January 2020.

To learn more about the design for this unique installation, please read the interview with Stephen Philips, Associate Product Designer, Arup.

© Copyright English Heritage / Tom Arber


Presented by Harman Kardon

Supported by Embassy of Estonia in London


Music by Arvo Pärt

Design by Arup: Stephen Philips, Ned Crowe and Ed Elbourne

Curated by Clare Farrow

With further support by:

Music: Arvo Pärt Centre, ECM Records

Screen: Perspex® brand, Talbot Designs

Bench: Poltrona Frau, Elf Ideas