Plant Orchestra, Luke Jerram, Photo: julian Hughes

Luke Jerram, Plant Orchestra

Plant Orchestra was a newly commissioned sound installation created by artist Luke Jerram. The installation amplified the imperceptible sound waves of plants, revealing the hidden acoustics of the Botanic Garden. From hundreds of field recordings the best samples were selected and played from the prospective plants, with small LEDs used to highlight which plants were making the sounds. Arriving after dark visitors navigated their way through the glasshouse by torchlight.

Plant Orchestra was commissioned by Nightjar, in partnership with Cambridge Festival of Ideas and supported by Cambridge County Council, Cambridge City Council and Cambridge University Botanic Garden.


Urban (Col)laboratory, Choreographing Knowledge, Photo: Julian Hughes

Urban (Col)laboratory, Choreographing Knowledge

Murray Edwards / New Hall Cambridge Phases 1 and 2 were built in 1964 by architects: Chamberlain, Powell and Bonn to accommodate the third women’s college of Cambridge University, founded in 1954.

A week long period of research followed by 3 performative walks focused specifically on people working at the edges of the Murray Edwards College. Urban (Col)laboratory spent a week talking to Porters, Gardeners, Administrative staff, Caterers, Chefs, Librarians and Maintenance staff to review the college as a stage for everyday performances, rituals and routines.
The 3 performative walks took place during the evening routines of the college and focused on the position of the audience who became both participants and performers through the locations they were invited to take up, in relation to the physical spaces of the college.


Visitor to readings, Photo: Julian Hughes

Jonathan Watts, Reader in Residence

Jonathan Watts was Nightjar’s official reader in residence, offering night-time readings from the book-lined library at Hotel du Vin. Responding to the nocturnal theme of the programme, along with Cambridge as its setting, Jonathan compiled an extensive bibliography which covered subjects as diverse as darkness, colour, occult, fen landscape, East Anglia recipes and writers accounts of October.


Dew Sweeping, Chris Parsons, Photo: Julian Hughes

Chris Parsons, Dew Sweeping

At dawn Chris Parsons sets to work creating vast geometric patterns reminiscent of crop circles. These temporary interventions are the result of a simple action, sweeping the dew that has settled on close cut lawns over night. For Nightjar Chris created one of his breathtaking patterns on the bowling green at Christ’s Piece park, which gradually disappeared in the morning sun.


Conversations After Dark, Townley and Bradby, Photo: Julian Hughes

Townley and Bradby, Conversations After Dark

Conversations After Dark was a tour of the Cambridge night devised by artists Townley and Bradby. The tour took in places, ideas and patterns of nocturnal behaviour within Cambridge city centre. There were twelve participants and during the tour they made use of various equipment including two Casio wristwatches, thirty shiny £1 coins, a bag of tennis balls, a cardboard bugle and a long skipping rope.

Conversations After dark began from Hotel du Vin on Trumpington Street at half past midnight on Sunday 25 October 2009 and lasted for two and a half hours, folding into itself the extra hour when the clocks turn back from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time.

Townley and Bradby invited Jamies Wilkes to produce a written reponse to the tour which is now available as a printed booklet with a cover image by photographer Julian Hughes. To receive a copy contact


drift, Amy Sharrocks, Photo: Julian Hughes

Amy Sharrocks, drift

drift is a live one-to-one artwork which took place within the extraordinary Jesus Green Lido. Participants were invited to spend 15 minutes adrift in a boat with Amy Sharrocks as an attempt to daydream together and explore how to drift and meander as twilight settled into night.  A musing on the role of water, journeys, boatwomen and what happens when you change speed, step off dry land, and alter your sense of gravity.

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