The spotlight is set to shine on London’s West End as the iconic location takes on a new light as part of the UKs largest light festival Lumiere London, produced by Artichoke and supported by Mayor of London.
Over four free nights from 18th-21st January, the UKs most visited destination, which boasts some of the world’s best hotels, restaurants, bars, theatres, art galleries and shopping experiences – will take centre stage at this spectacular light festival.
More than 16 UK and international artists will transform some of the most iconic and celebrated landmarks, streets and location across London’s West including Carnaby, Chinatown London, Leicester Square, Mayfair, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street St James’s, Seven Dials, Covent Garden and St James’s Market, into a vast outdoor exhibition space, offering audiences new and surprising perspectives on the world famous streets and iconic landmarks.
As well as getting the opportunity to witness some of the area’s most historic landmarks in a dazzling new light, visitors and Londoners will be able to sample a host of other incredible activities taking place in the area throughout January – so why not make a weekend of it this January and enjoy the unlimited opportunities for discovery across London’s West End.
ACROSS LONDON’S WEST END
Be sure not to catch the The Umbrellas Project which will be taking on the West End streets. A choreographed performance piece using LED umbrellas by Bristol-based Cirque Bijou which has been working with community groups in Redbridge, Greenwich, Lambeth and Waltham Forest through a series of choreography and performance workshops to create a glowingly beautiful artwork that will pop-up in different locations across London’s West End.
Head to Ganton Street to view the 51 oversized Light Bulbs suspended from the sky. The LED light bulbs light up in a rainbow of colours, creating a spectacular light show. The Giant Plug on Ganton Street is a characteristic feature of Carnaby. This award-winning piece of urban art is lit up at night and changes colour regularly.
A flock of extraordinary flame coloured Flamingos will waft serenely amongst the crowds in Chinatown London, designed by the ever imaginative Jo Pocock and the Lantern Company.
GROSVENOR SQUARE, MAYFAIR
Northern Lights by Aleksandra Stratimirovic at Grosvenor Square is inspired by the enthralling experience of viewing the aurora borealis, recreated in a spectacular and poetic natural light phenomenon in Grosvenor Square. Passers-by will be able to experience the wonder and magic of the shimmering northern lights in a city and a place where they would never naturally appear.
LEICESTER SQUARE GARDENS
One of the oldest and most established entertainment centers in the UK will be transformed into an evocative illuminated world, bringing a sense of the wild into the heart of the city, lead artist Jo Pocock and the Lantern Company – Nightlife. Populated by a host of curious nocturnal creatures in a luminous secret garden, the installation plays with the tension between wild spaces and urban city life. A world away from the hustle and bustle of the capital, this busy, central area will become a space for quiet reflection and a gathering place to celebrate the beautiful and wild.
SOUTH AUDLEY STREET, MAYFAIR
South Audley Street in Mayfair will host Bough 3 a new commission for Lumiere London by British artist and lighting designer, Simon Corder – vivid tubes of fluorescent light will grow up the façade of this significant Mayfair building, climbing like ivy up the wall, over and around the ornate decorations in the brickwork, bathing the surrounding site in a soft blue light. This will be a third in a series of Bough projects by Corder, previously installed in Glasgow and at Oxo Tower Wharf.
The Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly will become the canvas for a brand new installation inspired by the flowing lyrical movements of Matisse’s dancing figures. Artist Rhys Coren has created Love, an animation of two intricately paper-cut figures who will dance elegantly across the building’s stone facade, clasping each other in romantic embrace.
St James’s Church will host Be Faithful to Your Dreams by renownded British artist Tracey Emin; Be Faithful to Your Dreams uses Emin’s own handwritten text, the message of which takes inspiration from her own life, and following the curves of pen marks on paper, blows and bends it into neon tubing which will glow a fluorescent blue. Also located in the churchyard is My Light is Your Light by Alaa Minawi – this installation pays tribute to Syrian refugees and the terrible conditions they have experienced in their migrations across the world. The work was realised after Alaa Minawi worked for three years as an interpreter for Syrian, Iraqi, Sudanese and Somali refugees. Also see Suspended, an installation artwork by Arabella Dorman inside St James’s Church Piccadilly.
The world famous Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street will host Voyage by Camille Gross & Leslie Epzstein (France). The installation is inspired by the physical journey through time and space, from the Industrial Revolution, through the Belle Epoque and both World Wars, arriving at the present day. It is characterised by the immediate and frantic speed of travel, all measured by the rhythmic movement of a giant illuminated clock and projected onto the facade of the Hotel Café Royal building on Regent Street.
ST JAMES’S MARKET, ST JAMES’S
At St James’s Market discover Supercube by artist Stefane Masson who will transform 450 ordinary Kilner jars into a magical multi-screen cube full of surprises. A miniature giraffe, a pink elephant or a miniature version of yourself are just some of the many small moving images that can be found when you peer inside one of Masson’s multi-coloured jars.
SOUTH MOLTON STREET, MAYFAIR
In the heart of Mayfair and just off the bustling Oxford Street, visitors can seek out Impulse by Canadian design practice, Lateral Office, a set of eight illuminated interactive seesaws that invite the public to find their inner-child and play in an urban, public space. The more they move, the more light and sound is produced, to create a kinetic and dynamic experience that is different for each user. The installation creates an intimate space for imaginative play where adults and children alike can experiment to create harmonic patterns through collective movement.