Tonight is the opening night for Lumiere London. If you’ve been hiding away the last few weeks you’ll have missed all their advertising, but it’s probably one of the best events that takes place in January (granted there’s not much competition, but still). So ditch your vegan patties, throw down your gym bag, down your G&T and get outside (yes in the cold – make sure you wrap up) and get ready to be bedazzled by a whole load of lights.
Lumiere London is the UK’s largest light festival and its put together by the bright sparks (see what we did there?) at Artichoke Trust. For four evenings you’ll be able to mooch about London and look up in awe. There’s quite a lot to take in, with six locations to visit, so we’ve rounded up our favourites for you.
Giant Anglepoise-style lamps will cover Kings Boulevard (just on the way up to Granary Square). The aim is to change the guests’ experience of a familiar place. A giant desk lamp ought to do that! The creators, TILT, are a French design studio – they also made the installation at Leicester Square for Lumiere London 2016.
Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde is flooding Granary Square with a water-esque light, creating a dreamy, floaty landscape. The purpose is to make us more aware of the rising sea levels and global warming. For the full experience, whack those headphones in and listen to the accompanying soundtrack (fingers crossed for whale noises).
Control no control
Hokey cokey this installation, left legs, right legs – anything. This interactive LED sculpture reacts to movement and you can create some real life art. Daniel Iregui creates these pieces in public places so he can study the variety of combinations that can only be created in an uncontrolled environment.
Use your ears and your eyes when checking out Droplets. 12 animated water droplets are given 12 different musical notes. We’re imagining cheesy musical fountains, but we know it’s going to be far more sophisticated than that.
Another sound / light combo, but this one is interactive and encourages playful behaviour. It’s also giant seesaws. A team building exercise if there ever was one, or you can just go solo and create some art with unsuspecting person sat at the other end of your illuminated seesaw.
Was that a dream?
A flock of birds will adorn rooftops, tree branches, and fly through the sky in Mayfair. French artist, Cédric Le Borgne, designed the LED sculptures to turn on and off, so viewers question what and where they saw them.
Giant flamingos will fly through the sky in Chinatown. If we said we were going anywhere else first for Lumiere, we’d be lying. The piece was created by the Lantern Company with Jo Pocock, and apparently references the similarities between the flamingos’ migration and a human’s urge to explore the world.
Origin of the World Bubble 2018
Hanging above Oxford Circus will be a giant sphere that reacts to movement below it – transforming from monochrome to vibrant pops of colour. Miguel Chevalier is the man behind this one and it’s expected to be more than a little trippy.
WESTMINSTER & VICTORIA
Head to Westminster Cathedral for an epic stained glass window. Yes it already has a fair few, but this one is designed by Mick Stephenson and Electric Pedals – it’s made out of thousands of recycled plastic bottles and you have to pedal to keep it illuminated. Just rock up, jump on a bike and be part of some art.
SOUTH BANK & WATERLOO
40 12ft lit up triangles line up along Riverside Walkway in Southbank. We’ll be running through them with our arms in the air and shouting, not because we’re having a tough day, but because the triangles react to movements. Seems to be a bit of a trend at Lumiere.
All images from visitlondon.com/lumiere
Are you heading to Lumiere London? What’s on your hit list? Let us know on Twitter. If you like this blog, you’ll love our newsletter, sign up here.