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Students illuminate the Gorge

Published 07 Apr 2017

Architecture and design students in Launceston have once again rekindled a tradition that dates back to the 1860s when they lit 14 large lanterns on the First Basin on Tuesday night.

The event - Illuminations – showcased the results of the first design project for the first year students studying architecture and interior design at the University of Tasmania.

Lecturer at the School of Architecture and Design Louise Wallis said the event harkened back to the first Chinese lanterns event, where 500 lanterns lined the first basin at Cataract Gorge.

“There were many of these events lighting up the Gorge from the 1860s to the 1890s and we'd like to recapture a small part of that spirit,” Ms Wallis said.

“The School last ran a lantern project in 2003 and started it back up in 2016 on the Esk River. It has been wonderful to see the students embrace the idea and to see them really enjoying the project.”

The 14 lanterns are built on a one metre by one metre base and stand up to two metres tall. They are made from sustainable harvested bamboo, recycled timber offcuts and everyday items such as milk cartons, luncheon wrap and tea light candles.

The event included 68 first year students, some friends and family, children and members of the public passing by. The lanterns were lit, floated and towed out via kayak into the Gorge. The night was perfect and the lanterns looked spectacular.