By Arachne

Man meets tyrannosaurus rex

The University Museum of Natural History joined in Oxford's Light Night this evening with gusto. My cunning angle makes it look as if this is the only person in the museum. In fact there is a DJ almost next to him, the museum is full of music and flashing lights and there are dozens of children dancing and turning somersaults around the dinosaur skeletons while hordes of adults seek out the stuffed dodo and the millions-of-years-old fossils. Somewhere there is drink to be had, and through a nearby door people are queuing to explore the Pitt Rivers anthropological museum with torches.

Each year on the last Friday evening of November, to mark the switching on of the Christmas lights, there are events in Oxford's public buildings and spaces, most involving light, music or ice. Children process through the streets with paper lanterns they have spent weeks making, the Town Hall hosts art events in the old court rooms (including, this time, a meeting table piled a foot deep with tidily arranged shredded paper, as a comment on bureaucracy and meetings - brilliant). There is also usually some large art installation. This year's was 'kinetic and transfixing sound sculptures. Towering above the audience, giant metal tripods with rotating arms sing out hypnotic siren calls creating a harmonic drone. Lights create the effect of a swarm of fireflies, or of planets in motion.' That last sentence is a bit fanciful but my long-exposure pictures of it do look like flying saucers coming in to land.

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