New art exhibition lighting up night sky above Nelson

A Nelson art exhibition is brightening up the darkest months of the year.

Light Nelson is one of the city's largest events, with organisers hoping to see 60,000 people through its gates.

"It's a magical mystery tour. Light in the middle of winter," says featured artist Vincent Ward.

The free exhibition is in it's fourth year, with professional and amateur artists working long hours to get the 66 installations off the ground.

Nelson joiner Bruce Stilwell estimates he's spent 200 hours on his masterpiece, the "Mumbrella".

"Because it's the mother of all umbrellas," he explains.

"It's six metres in diameter. There are 10 laminated ribs and each of them had 250 screws and there’s approximately 10 kilometres of string."

With Mary Poppins not around to fly his project to the finish line, it was a team effort to transport the giant umbrella from Richmond into the city - needing to be lifted onto Mr Stilwell’s roof just to get it onto a trailer.

"It's really cool to hear the 'wow' yeah so makes it all worthwhile that's for sure," Mr Stilwell says.

Some other stand out pieces include a chandelier put together with 3000 recycled swizzle sticks and an illuminated whale made out of 1500 recycled plastic bags.

Artwork from New Zealand filmmaker Vincent Ward is also being showcased as part of the event, with a display projected onto the Suter Gallery.

"The last time the work was displayed was at the Shanghai Biennale, so it's the first outing it's had since then and it's the first time it's been shown on a building," says Mr Ward.

"My work's sort of mysterious in a way. Slightly meditative, it's reflective. And just takes them into another space, another world," he says.

On Thursday night, wheelchair users were given the chance to see the exhibition before its official opening.

"This time they get to have a really good look around, makes them feel special, part of a community that's catering to them now," says Nelson carer Nikki.

Light Nelson runs from Friday July 6 to Tuesday July 10.

More than 50,000 people are expected to check out Light Nelson. Source: 1 NEWS