The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has hailed the upcoming Lumiere London as one of the most spectacular free events to ever take place in the capital, as producers Artichoke reveal ten of the artworks coming to London for the UK’s largest light festival.
The newly-revealed works include:
● Interactive illuminated singing see-saws in South Molton Street in Mayfair
● An immersive work that imagines a world under water at King’s Cross
● A meditation on time from the Industrial Revolution to the present day projected onto the iconic Hotel Café Royal building on Regent Street
● Flamingos flying through Chinatown London
● A triptych of animated self-portraits in Leake Street
● Matisse-inspired animation dancing across the facade of the Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The incredible line-up of artworks announced today gives a flavour of what an amazing and international festival Lumiere London 2018 will be. Even bigger, brighter and bolder than its inaugural event, we will see some show-stopping installations reimagining London’s iconic architecture and streets. “I’m also delighted that this year we are organising community projects in outer London boroughs to ensure that as many Londoners as possible can get involved with this world-class event. Festivals like this showcase London at its international, creative and open best.”
Commissioned by the Mayor of London, and produced by arts charity Artichoke, Lumiere London is the capital’s largest art event and is free to attend, receiving major support from London & Partners, London’s West End, King’s Cross and Bloomberg Philanthropies with additional support provided by a host of partners and funders including Wellcome, The Fitzrovia Partnership and the Victoria, South Bank and Waterloo BIDs, Cain International, Marriott and Universal Music.
Following the spectacular success of the first Lumiere London in January 2016, which saw 1.3 million visits over the four nights and a visitor spend of £22m, the nocturnal festival is designed to lift the spirits in the darkest days of winter and show the city in a new light.
More than 40 artworks made using the medium of light, will explore the city’s most iconic buildings, landscape and architecture. The festival features artists from across the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Canada amongst others. Bigger, brighter and bolder, the second edition of Lumiere London extends from North to South across the River Thames through six areas: King’s Cross, Fitzrovia, London’s West End (including Carnaby, Chinatown London, Leicester Square, Mayfair, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, St James’s, St James’s Square, St James’s Market and Seven Dials), Westminster & Victoria, and Southbank & Waterloo.
Londoners will also have the opportunity to take part in the creation of a number of festival artworks. The London Boroughs of Greenwich, Lambeth, Redbridge and Waltham Forest will be supporting a programme of community activities to help produce a series of choreography and performance workshops to create the glowingly beautiful Umbrella Project by Bristol-based Cirque Bijou, roaming artworks that will pop-up in Piccadilly and Fitzrovia locations during the festival. They will also help create Bottle Festoon, installations of shimmering chandeliers made from recycled plastic bottles.
Bottle Festoon will also be supported in Croydon, by The Croydon Partnership, as part of a one-day light festival taking place on Thornton Heath following Lumiere London at the end of January. The Thornton Heath light festival will also give Londoners a further opportunity to see a version of Leicester Square’s extraordinary Nightlife commission, created by Jo Pocock and the Lantern Company for Leicester Square Gardens, which celebrates the wonders of the natural world, creating a wild space in the heart of the city. Lanterns from this work will transfer to the Thornton Heath light festival, supported by London Borough of Croydon.
The latest works to be revealed are:
● Voyage by Camille Gross & Leslie Epzstein (France), Hotel Café Royal, Regent Street: Located in the heart of London’s West End, Voyage is inspired by our physical journey through time and space: from the Industrial Revolution, through the Belle Epoque, 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.
● Ruby, Santiago by Emma Allen (UK) and Adam: Grey Matters by Emma Allen and Daisy Thompson-Lake, triptych of work in Leake Street, underneath Waterloo Station: Emma Allen, a multidisciplinary artist based between Sri Lanka and London, uses her own face as a living canvas to explore ideas of rebirth and renewal. Through 750 photographs Ruby sees her painted face transform from a skull into a sky full of shooting stars, while Santiago traces the history of humankind mapped out from the single cell origin of life to a digitally enhanced and technologically defined future.
Adam: Grey Matters is a new animated portrait that seeks to remove the social stigma accompanying mental health issues by creating artistic impressions of the underlying neurobiological processes of depression. Supported by LCR and We are Waterloo.
● Waterlicht by Daan Roosegaarde (Netherlands), King’s Cross: Inspired by our changing relationship to water and the risk of global warming and rising sea levels. Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde will transform Granary Square into an ethereal dream-like landscape.
Waterlicht underlines the power and poetry of water, enveloping viewers in a virtual flood whilst contemplating its potential for the future: Can we build floating cities? How much power can we generate from the movement of water? For a fully immersive experience the public are encouraged to use their mobile devices and headphones to tune into the accompanying soundtrack. Supported by The Royal Netherlands Embassy.
● Cosmoscope by Simeon Nelson (UK), Store Street Crescent: A team of artists and scientists led by Simeon Nelson and including academics from UCL, University of Oxford and Durham University are behind this bold new commission supported by Wellcome. Taking inspiration from science, from the microscopic cell to the beating of the human heart and through to the rhythm of the cosmos, Cosmoscope is accompanied by a stunning soundscape.
● Northern Lights by Aleksandra Stratimirovic (Sweden), Grosvenor Square, Mayfair: Inspired by the enthralling experience of viewing the aurora borealis, Swedish artist Aleksandra Stratimirovic will recreate this 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. The installation will interact with the surrounding environment, moving and dancing across the space and, just like the lights of the aurora borealis, the flow of movements will take audiences by surprise, vanishing and suddenly reappearing unpredictably. In collaboration with Light Art Collection, part of the Amsterdam Light Festival.
● Love Motion by Rhys Coren (UK), Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly: The iconic art institution on Piccadilly will become the canvas for a brand new installation specially commissioned in partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts and completed by postgraduate student Rhys Coren. Inspired by the flowing lyrical movements of Matisse’s dancing figures, Coren has created an animation of two intricately paper-cut figures who will dance elegantly across the building’s stone facade, clasping each other in romantic embrace. Accompanied by a moving and original soundtrack Love Motion will present a joyful burst of simple pleasure on a cold, dark wintery night.
● Supercube by Stéphane Masson (France), St James’s Market, St James’s: French artist Stéphane Masson has been hijacking everyday objects for art projects since 2004, devoting his practice to making the familiar unfamiliar. For Supercube, Masson 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. His previous works include The Aquarium Car (La Voiture Aquarium),Kissing Lamps (Les Lampadiares a Bisous) and interactive video recording The Box of Words.
● Impulse by Lateral Office & CS Design (Canada), South Molton Street, Mayfair: Co-created by Canadian design practices, Lateral Office and CS Design, Impulse is a field of 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. Situated on South Molton Street, just off Oxford Street, the installation creates an intimate space for imaginative play where adults and children alike can experiment to create harmonic patterns through collective movement.
● Flamingo Flyway
by Lantern Company (UK), Chinatown London: Created by the ever-imaginative Jo Pocock and the Lantern Company, these extraordinary flame coloured birds will waft serenely amongst the crowds in Chinatown London at the heart of London’s West End.
● The Umbrella Project by Cirque Bijou (UK), Piccadilly, Fitzrovia and King’s Cross: This year’s festival will ensure that all Londoners are included in the fun through a series community participation projects that will engage residents in several Outer London Boroughs. The Umbrella Project is a choreographed performance piece using LED umbrellas by Bristol-based Cirque Bijou. Cirque Bijou will work with community groups in Redbridge, Greenwich, Lambeth and Waltham Forest through a series of choreography and performance workshops to create glowingly beautiful artworks that will pop-up in Piccadilly and Fitzrovia.
● Bottle Festoon (UK) across various locations: installations of chandeliers made from recycled plastic bottles, with the participation of community groups from the London Boroughs of Greenwich, Lambeth, Redbridge, and Waltham Forest, also supported by the Croydon Partnership and exhibited in locations in King’s Cross, Fitzrovia and Mayfair.
Helen Marriage, Artichoke CEO and Lumiere London Artistic Director, said: “It’s exciting and unusual to be working at this scale and Lumiere London is more than a light festival. It’s an exploration of the city by artists and audiences that transforms our public spaces from King’s Cross to the Southbank via London’s West End, Mayfair, Victoria and Waterloo. From the playful to the thought-provoking, the artistic programme will present our city to the world as a public gallery without walls."
Andrew Cooke, Acting CEO of London and Partners, said: “The range of international artists involved in Lumiere London highlights London’s status as a vibrant and multi-cultural city buzzing with creative energy. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to explore some of London's more and less familiar landmarks and neighbourhoods in a totally new light.”
Ben Stephenson, CEO of WeAreWaterloo, said: “We are delighted to host some spectacular Lumiere installations in the South Bank and Waterloo, including Emma Allen’s work in Leake Street under Waterloo Station. The ever-changing street art in the tunnel provides the perfect backdrop for Emma’s stunning animated portraits, and is a great place to start or end your Lumiere journey.”
Councillor Nickie Aiken, Chair of the West End Partnership said: “Lumiere London puts a global spotlight on London’s West End, an unrivalled visitor destination and the beating heart of the capital, attracting international visitors from China, the US, Europe and beyond to explore the West End’s spectacular light displays.
“From the iconic Leicester Square to Mount Street Gardens and St James’s Market, we will be illuminating hidden gems, globally renowned streets and iconic landmarks this January. “We look forward to welcoming people from across the UK and around the world to this stunning festival of light and hope they stay to explore the extraordinary centre of culture, entertainment, dining, hospitality and retail that is the West End.” Anna Strongman, Partner, Argent (King’s Cross), said:
“We are delighted to be taking part in Lumiere London once again and looking forward to seeing King’s Cross transformed into a canvas of colour and light. Visitors to this year’s show will be able to enjoy a vibrant mix of shops, bars and restaurants including all of our new retailers on King’s Boulevard, whilst exploring the installations which have been designed to complement the mix of new and restored spaces and places transformed over the last 10 years. We look forward to welcoming old friends and new visitors to King’s Cross during the festival.” Lee Lyons, Chief Operating Officer, The Fitzrovia Partnership, said: “The collaboration between art and science represents the wider community in Fitzrovia and brings with it a unique piece of artwork for our first year’s involvement in Lumiere”.
Works already announced for the 2018 Lumiere London programme:
● The Light of the Spirit by Patrice Warrener (France) at Westminster Abbey: French digital artist Patrice Warrener returns to present the second instalment of The Light of the Spirit for Westminster Abbey. Building upon this 2016 commission to articulate elements on the West Front, which gave the impression of a painted facade, for 2018 Warrener will incorporate more of this landmark building, illuminating the sculptural details in his distinctive polychromatic style. Supported by Victoria BID.
● Aether by Architecture Social Club (UK) & Max Cooper (UK), King’s Cross: The British collective of designers, architects, technicians and poets, Architecture Social Club, will present an emotive and powerful audio-visual work for the festival entitled Aether. Its glittering mass grows, rolls and splinters in reaction to the soundscape created by music producer, Max Cooper. Connecting light and sound to the emotions of viewers and playing on our intrinsic and emotional relationship with form, colour and sound, Aether accentuates our connections with the physical, engulfing the viewer in a rich, sensory experience.
● OSC-L by Ulf Langheinrich (Germany) at The National Theatre: Digital artist, Ulf Langheinrich will present OSC-L for Lumiere London 2018. The projected work will transform the National Theatre fly tower into a glowing monument that will stand out as a transcendent beacon along South Bank’s skyline. Designed to react with the brutalist design of Denys Lasdun’s building, OSC-L will both animate and liquify the appearance of the hard concrete shape of the National Theatre.
● Bough 3 by Simon Corder (UK), 17-22 South Audley Street, Mayfair: Bough 3 is 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. Bough 3 will be the third in a series of Bough projects by Corder, previously installed in Glasgow and at Oxo Tower Wharf. Supported by Cain International.
● NIGHTLIFE by the Lantern Company (UK) in Leicester Square Gardens: Lead artist Jo Pocock and the Lantern Company will transform Leicester Square Gardens into an evocative illuminated world, bringing a sense of the wild into the heart of the city. 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. Artichoke is working with Team London, the Mayor’s volunteering programme for London, to recruit around 300 volunteers from across the capital to help make the festival a success.
From sharing knowledge of the city and recommending places to eat and drink, to helping audiences discover more about the artworks, sign up here: http://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk The full programme will be revealed in January 2018.
Further details about Lumiere London 2018 are available at: www.visitlondon.com/lumiere #LumiereLDN @ArtichokeTrust
Notes to Editors
Lumiere was created by Artichoke in Durham in 2009, and took place again in 2011, 2013 and 2015, commissioned by Durham County Council. In 2013, Artichoke produced Lumiere
in Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture. In January 2016, the company staged the first Lumiere London, supported by the Mayor of London, attracting audiences of over 1 million over four nights. http://www.lumiere-festival.com
Producers of extraordinary live events, Artichoke is one of the country’s leading creative companies and is a registered charity, funded by Arts Council England. At Artichoke, we use art to undermine the mundane and disrupt the everyday, and create a new kind of world that we’d all like to live in.
Our previous projects include Royal de Luxe’s The Sultan’s Elephant, which brought an estimated one million people onto the streets of London in 2006; La Machine’s 50-foot high mechanical spider for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008; Antony Gormley’s One & Other 100-day-long invasion of the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London in 2009; and Deborah Warner’s commission for the London 2012 Festival with Fiona Shaw, Peace Camp, a nationwide celebration of landscape and poetry, which took place across eight separate sites around the UK; Temple by David Best in Derry~Londonderry, attended by more than 75,000 people; and London’s Burning, a festival to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London in September 2016.
Artichoke creates and produces Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, which has been staged in Durham every two years since 2009; in Derry~Londonderry in Northern Ireland as part of the celebrations for City of Culture 2013, and in London for the first time in January 2016. www.artichoke.uk.com
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