Pulsating spheres to surge down river

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Hundreds of lights are set to float down the River Derwent in Belper next month as part of an ambitious arts project.

The flotilla of pulsating digital spheres will travel past Belper mills and onwards in October during the Derwent Pulse project.

The high-tech spectacle - which will journey from Bleaklow to Derby - will be controlled by small circuit boards designed by Derby Makers at the Derby Silk Mill Museum.

Each light contains a miniature computer, GPS module and radio transmitter and receiver. This allows the lights to respond to the landscape they pass through while echoing the industrial pulse that originated in the valley.

Devised and led by Derbyshire artist Charles Monkhouse, the project is a commission by the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

During the procession, communities will shepherd the lights and share their tales and experiences bound up with the river.

“It’s the biggest commission we have attempted and proves how the past can be a source for artistic inspiration,”said Mark Suggitt, Director of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

It will run from October 8 to November 5 and is a precursor to next year’s ‘Made in Derbyshire’ campaign, a celebration of culture and heritage across the county.