Lumiere London … the Trafalgar Square, Westminster and Mayfair-ry lights

This is the second of three posts on the delightful Lumiere London: the capital’s first light festival. Produced by the creative company Artichoke, stunning light installations designed by international artists were placed across Mayfair (see below), King’s Cross and Piccadilly for four nights in January 2016. The festival proved extremely popular and there are now calls to make it an annual event.

As well as the selection of stills on this post, I have made a short YouTube film about the event (apologies, the sound is not great). The footage is automatically cued up next to each of the featured installations listed below. Just press play. However, to start off with here is the film in full. Enjoy x


 

Lightbench

Bernd Spiecker for LBO-Lichtbankobjekte

Grosvenor Square

As I was taking this photo, I heard someone ask "If you sit on it long enough do you start getting a tan?"

As I was taking this photo, I heard someone ask “If you sit on it long enough do you start getting a tan?”

They do look a little like sunbeds

They do look a little like sunbeds

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Lightbench, Bernd Spiecker for LBO-Lichtbankojekte, Grosvenor Square, side distance


 

Neon Dogs

Deepa Mann-Kler

window of Coutts, opposite Charing Cross station

It was 'dog-eat-dog' at Coutts as the crowds fought their way to the front to catch a glimpse of Deepa Mann-Kier's popular Neon Dogs. It was like being on the Tube during rush hour

It was ‘dog-eat-dog’ at Coutts as the crowds fought their way to the front to catch a glimpse of Deepa Mann-Kier’s popular Neon Dogs. It was like being on the Tube during rush hour

The dogs were rather jolly...

The dogs were rather jolly…

...but I was more fascinated by the accompanying neon swirls next to the dog bones

…but I was more fascinated by the accompanying neon swirls next to the dog bones

Lumiere London Light Festival Trafalgar Square Westminster, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Neon Dogs, Deepa Mann-Kler, Coutts Charing Cross, green and lots

It wasn't until someone shuffled passed me on their way out of the scrum and mumbled "what a load of shit", that I realised what the swirls actually were

It wasn’t until someone shuffled passed me on their way out of the scrum and mumbled “what a load of shit”, that I realised what the swirls actually were


 

Aquarium

Benedetto Bufalino & Benoit Deseille

Grosvenor Street

As fewer and fewer people use public telephones these days, new uses are being found for the capital's iconic red phone boxes. Just don't open the door to this one

As fewer and fewer people use public telephones these days, new uses are being found for the capital’s iconic red phone boxes. Just don’t open the door to this one

With a landline already installed, these fish should have no trouble getting broad-tail-moor-goldfish-band (hawh hawh!)

With a landline already installed, these fish should have no trouble getting broad-tail-moor-goldfish-band (hawh hawh!)

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Aquarium, Benedetto Bufalino & Benoit Deseille, bottom side with fish and telephone

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Aquarium, Benedetto Bufalino & Benoit Deseille, side on side with telephone and fish

Another festival favourite

Another festival favourite

Even the fish appeared surprised by this installation's popularity

Even the fish appeared surprised by this installation’s popularity

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Aquarium, Benedetto Bufalino & Benoit Deseille, crowds


 

Centre Point Lights

Trafalgar Square

Centre Point is a huge 33 storey building that has towered over Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street since the 1960s. As a child I often looked up at its name lit up at the top in huge white lettering, wishing that one day I could go up there and enjoy the view over London. However, it was primarily used for office space and so closed to the public.

It is now (2016) being renovated into luxury apartments that no doubt only Russian oligarchs will be able to afford. Whilst these renovations are taking place, the lettering has been taken down and put into storage, except during Lumiere London, where they were placed in Trafalgar Square for the four nights of the light festival. At last! I got to see the top of Centre Point, or at least see what was once at the top of Centre Point until recently. Well, it’s the closest I’ll probably ever get to the top of the building, unless I win the lottery and buy a broom cupboard on the 33rd floor with the winnings.

I wasn't the only Londoner keen to get up close to the Centre Point name. I tried to capture the whole name without anyone in shot. After half an hour trying, this was the closest I got

I wasn’t the only Londoner keen to get up close to the Centre Point name. I tried to capture the whole name without anyone in shot. After half an hour trying, this was the closest I got

With lettering two metres high, it is no wonder the name could be seen for miles around when it was at the top of Centre Point

With lettering two metres high, it is no wonder the name could be seen for miles around when it was at the top of Centre Point

Lumiere London Light Festival Trafalgar Square Westminster, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Centre Point Lights, Centre

Lumiere London Light Festival Trafalgar Square Westminster, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Centre Point Lights, Point


 

Spinning Night in Living Colour

Elaine Buckholtz

Grosvenor Square

Although it cannot be seen in this photo, the Franklin D. Roosevelt statue was propping up this stunning installation, making it look like London's version of Antony Gormley's Angel of the North

Although it cannot be seen in this photo, the Franklin D. Roosevelt statue was propping up this stunning installation, making it look like London’s version of Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North

Hauntingly beautiful monk chanting accompanied the subtle colour changes of the bars on the screen. A nearby crane tried to muscle in on the action and contribute its own light installation to the festival

Hauntingly beautiful monk chanting accompanied the subtle colour changes of the bars on the screen. A nearby crane tried to muscle in on the action and contribute its own light installation to the festival


 

The Light of the Spirit

Patrice Warrener

Westminster Abbey

Lumiere London Light Festival Trafalgar Square Westminster, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, The Light of the Spirit, Patrice Warrener, Westminster Abbey, purples and yellows

Lumiere London Light Festival Trafalgar Square Westminster, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, The Light of the Spirit, Patrice Warrener, Westminster Abbey, blue

Lumiere London Light Festival Trafalgar Square Westminster, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, The Light of the Spirit, Patrice Warrener, Westminster Abbey, window close up


 

Sanctuary

Sarah Blood

Brown Hart Garden

A chorus of bird song accompanied this installation

A chorus of bird song accompanied this installation

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Sanctuary, Sarah Blood, Brown Hart Gardens, one bird box through grass

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Sanctuary, Sarah Blood, Brown Hart Gardens


 

Plastic Islands

Luzinterruptus

Trafalgar Square

London's litter problem clearly under control

London’s litter problem clearly under control

Lumiere London Light Festival Trafalgar Square Westminster, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Plastic Islands, Luzinterruptus

Lumiere London Light Festival Trafalgar Square Westminster, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Plastic Islands, Luzinterruptus, with fifth plinth


 

Brothers and Sisters

Ron Haselden

Grosvenor Square

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Brothers and Sisters, Ron Haselden, Grosvenor Square, front

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Brothers and Sisters, Ron Haselden, Grosvenor Square, detail white face

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Brothers and Sisters, Ron Haselden, Grosvenor Square, detail yellow face

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Brothers and Sisters, Ron Haselden, Grosvenor Square, detail figure at end

The crowds flocking to see the installation

The crowds flocking to see the installation

With Spinning Night in Living Colour in the background

With Spinning Night in Living Colour in the background


 

Dissect I and Dissect II

Sarah Blood

Brown Hart Gardens

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Dissect I and Dissect II, east side of gardens, Brown Hart Gardens

Lumiere London Light Festival Mayfair, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Dissect I and Dissect II, west side of gardens, Brown Hart Gardens

TLT x


Lumiere London King's Cross, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, King's Cross Tunnel, Allies and Morrison Speirs + Major, pink reflection  The King’s Cross pieces can be seen here


… and the Piccadilly, Regent Street & St James’s installations can be found here Lumiere London Light Festival Piccadilly Regent Street & St James's, Artichoke Project, Mayor of London, Les Luminéoles, Porté par le vent, Piccadilly, purple

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in UK, London. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Lumiere London … the Trafalgar Square, Westminster and Mayfair-ry lights

  1. Anne Guy says:

    Thanks for tripping the light fantastic on our behalf and braving the sub zero temps! X

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *