Advertisement

Winter Lights at Canary Wharf

13 January 2015 | Laura Stevens

In the fantastic temporary display of public art, 11 internationally acclaimed artists illuminate the Docklands using lasers, digital art and sculptures.

The dark, sombre and sensible colours that are usually associated with London’s financial district are being brightened up this dank January by a playful interactive art exhibition, the Winter Lights. In the spectacular display of public art, 11 internationally acclaimed artists light up the Docklands using lasers, projections and sculptures.

Having grown into a festival since its initial conception in 2003, the exhibition now reaches over Canary Wharf, Jubilee Park and Reuters Plaza. Sally Williams, public art consultant of Canary Wharf Group plc, spoke about how this type of art is “new to London”. Whilst other cities have their own public light exhibitions, the capital appears to be still in the dark on temporary light festivals.

The exhibits are not only illuminating the dark and wet January days, they are also attempting to cast the business district in a new shade. Williams spoke about Canary Wharf being a “cultural destination” - not the usual connotation given to the high-rise borough. However, with the area being home to 300 shops, bars and restaurants and staging 100 exhibitions during the year this is definitely an unsung gem in the busy London art scene.

A piece that catches your attention immediately on emerging from the Tube is Daniel Iregui’s ‘Control No Control’. An arresting black cube, it lights up to white light following your touch. A magical monochrome installation, the white will chase your movements in different geometric patterns.

Winter Lights Festival @ Canary Wharf from Canary Wharf on Vimeo.

Iregui claims his piece “disrupts public space” as it “looks like it dropped from the sky”. The otherworldly nature of his piece is aided by the ethereal music playing out when the interactive artwork is touched. Iregui hopes that the work will create “dialogues” – whether that is between two strangers, the piece and the person or even the watcher and the participant. It is certainly causing consternation and amazement in Montgomery Square with tourists, workers and families all having a go.

Another interactive light work, and again much loved by passer-bys, is ‘Ice Angel’. Even if England didn’t quite deliver the desired white Christmas, this installation provides an opportunity to create beautiful, albeit digital, snow angels. Designed by Dominic Harris and Cinimod Studio, participants get to see themselves in angelic form with the piece memorising the person so you generate the same heavenly wings every time.

Canada Square Park certainly can boast of having the best benches in the city. Here LBO Lichtbankobjekte have created two benches with a delightful twist – one is luminous and the other is heated. With the flashing colours controlled by a downloadable app you can even take charge of this colourful installation. And, having a heated bench is definitely a trend that would be welcomed across the whole city!

One of the more atmospheric installations is ‘On the Bridge’ by Tine Bech, where smoke shoots out from Cubitt Steps amidst pink and purple lights. Visible from across the dock this artwork immerses pedestrians in bold lights and smoke as they make their way across the water.

For those with younger members of the family on 9-11 January there is an Interactive Family Weekend. Amongst the permanent exhibition pieces there will be 3D story telling, light painting and animations.

Winter Lights at Canary Wharf runs 5-30 January and is free. For more details see their website.

Advertisement

Most popular

What to See at The Cinema
What to See at The Cinema
Advertisement
Top Theatre of the Week in London
Top Theatre of the Week in London
Advertisement
The Best Exhibitions in London Right Now
The Best Exhibitions in London Right Now
Advertisement
Top Gigs of the Week in London
Top Gigs of the Week in London
The Best Street Food Markets in London
The Best Street Food Markets in London
Spotlight on: Gay’s the Word
Spotlight on: Gay’s the Word

Your inbox deserves a little culture! Get our monthly newsletter

Advertisement