Push to build permanent Field of Light

Jessica Cuthbert and Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Field of Light: Avenue of Honour
Camera IconField of Light: Avenue of Honour Credit: City of Albany

Albany should build its own Field of Light display if it cannot keep the original, according to local businessman Paul Lionetti.

Mr Lionetti announced this week he would lead a push into having a permanent display like the Field of Light: Avenue of Honour on Mt Clarence, after nearly 150,000 visits in the six months since its installation.

He had previously pledged $5000 to keeping the current Avenue of Honour display in place, but the City of Albany and the UK artist behind the project, Bruce Munro, said that was not an option.

Mr Lionetti said that should not be the end of it, however, proposing a publicly funded permanent installation.

He said he hoped to meet City staff to discuss the idea next week and suggested the State could possibly support the project.

“This is one that really, for the amount of money they put in, was absolutely fantastic,” he said.

“For Albany, a simple thing like this could increase our tourism by double.” Mr Lionetti said the tourism brought in by the installation had been “massive” for businesses, with City statistics showing it had attracted about150,000 people since October.

“Accommodation people I’ve spoken to (say it’s) chockers,” he said. “They’ve been up this year on any year we’ve seen.”

The Field of Light: Avenue of Honour will glow for the last time in three weeks.

Honouring the Anzacs, it pays tribute to lives lost in World War I with 16,000 shining spheres marking the last town soldiers saw before departing for the war.

Installation creator Munro said he had been “overwhelmed” by the response in Albany, but he would not make it permanent.

“(Albany is) a place that I immediately felt at home and where I hope to spend more time in the near future,” he said.

He revealed a new project was in the works for Albany.

“The positive news is that we are in talks with FORM and the City of Albany regarding a new immersive installation,” Munro said.

FORM chairman Paul Chamberlain, whose organisation led the charge for the display to be brought to Albany, said it was great to see how valued the installation was during its short exhibition.

“Unfortunately, Field of Light: Avenue of Honour is not for sale, and that was never the plan,” he said. “A key part of its appeal is the fleeting opportunity we have to experience it.”

Mr Chamberlain would not reveal details of the proposed installation but said “it would not be another Field of Light”.

The City is currently collating public feedback on the Field of Light display through an online survey.

To access it visit fieldoflightalbany.com.au/articles/survey.

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