Lots and lots and lots of fire!

It’s been very hard to edit down the pictures from last night at the Installation de Feu. Fire’s just so damn photogenic.

I don’t want to sound like Jeremy Clarkson here, but it was really surprising, in this litigation happy age, to see so many naked flames with no barriers to stop us going right up to them. There was a sign on the gate that said, I swear, “Fire is hot and may burn” or similar, but that was it.

We came in from the Yew Tree Road side of the park, so the Shakespearean Gardens were our first port of call. I think this was better than if we’d come in from Wilmslow Road. As neat as the gardens were, I think they would have been something of an anti-climax if we’d come to them after looking at everything else.

Centre piece of the show, for us anyway, were the three big globes of burning pots. We got up close enough to touch the frame and find out they swayed a little (but not touch the pots, we’re not that silly).

Moving round there were more pretty fire sculptures, big bunsen style chimneys and the band, who were quite good in an avant jazz kind of a way. All their instruments were hung from the tree they were playing under.

The back wall of the park had garlands of burning pots strung from it. Not as spectacular as the burning balls, but quite pretty nonetheless. Someone seemed to have hung their vests out to dry, lit from the inside by candles.

And then we were drawn back to the burning globes. It had started raining and the hundreds of tiny pops as raindrops hit burning wax and boiled off sounded like a waterfall. I experimented with exposure times and got some interesting images.

Then, all too soon, it was time to leave. The steward wouldn’t let us take a pot home, so we sulked.

Installation de Feu is on tonight and tomorrow. If you’re in Manchester forget any other plans and go to see it. You will not regret it.

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