Light has the power to transform nocturnal landscapes and deliver unique messages. The second edition of Lumiere London, produced by creative charity Artichoke, brings together 40 innovative artworks from a diverse range of practitioners. The installations featured utilise the medium to reshape the built environment of the city, offering both interactive experiences and powerful dialogues. Key locations extend from North to South across the River Thames, including King’s Cross, the West End and Westminster.
The changing environment is a starting point for many of the artists. The highlighted image depicts Daan Roosegaarde’s Waterlicht, an immersive piece which meaningfully responds to society’s relationship with water. It envelopes viewers within a virtual flood, providing poignant perspectives on global warming and rising sea levels. Asking questions regarding the future of the locale, Roosegaarde’s contribution transfigures Granary Square into an ethereal, dream-like arena. In a similar way, Northern Lights by Aleksandra Stratimirovic imitates the aurora borealis in Grosvenor Square. The intervention juxtaposes natural and constructed environments, enabling passers-by to experience the sublime, localised phenomenon in an unusual region. By moving, vanishing and suddenly reappearing, the work plays with the unexpected, interacting with its surroundings in surprising, spatially resonant ways.
This year’s event offers citizens the opportunity to take part in the act of creation. For example, communities are encouraged to contribute to Bottle Festoon, which comprises mesmerising chandeliers made from recycled plastic bottles. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, notes: “Even bigger, brighter and bolder than its inaugural event, we will see some show-stopping installations reimagining London’s iconic architecture and streets. This year we are organising projects in outer boroughs to ensure that as many Londoners as possible can get involved with this world-class event. Festivals like this showcase the city at its international, creative and open best.”
From 18-21 January. Find out more: www.lumiere-festival.com.
1. Daan Roosegaarde, Waterlicht. Courtesy Studio Roosegaarde and Lumiere London.