Station closures, unprecedented crowds, trending on social media. If last week was anything to go by it’s fair to say that Lumiere Festival was a roaring success and proof that us Londoners are in desperate need of something to brighten up January.
If you missed out on last week’s illuminations or simply don’t want it all to end, then the good news is that the bite-size Winter Lights festival at Canary Wharf is on until Friday.
Completely free and perhaps more appealing for families with younger children due to its earlier start time (4pm to 9pm), the festival features a range of light structures, sculptures and installations, all set to the stunning backdrop of Canada Square’s towers and reflected in the surrounding waters below.
Particularly popular on our visit was The Pool by Jen Lewin Studio in Montgomery Square. Akin to excitement and chaos of a haystack maze at a festival, these giant concentric circles change in colour and light intensity as you run, jump, step or hop onto them. Either stand back and watch from the sidelines, or hold hands and get involved, it’s by far one of the most interactive of exhibits and a well-thought-out crowd-pleaser.
Also impressive is the cascading words of Bit.fall by Julias Popp. Set above Chancellor Passage, illuminated droplets of water fall to form random words in mid-air, representing our age of incessant information. Even if you don’t quite understand the significance of the words spat-out, young (and even new) readers, will love the challenge of reading the quick-fire words before they dissipate, leaving you happy that you’ve done something arty as well as educational.
Winter Lights is at Canary Wharf from 4pm-9pm until 22nd January.
Admission free. See website for details and a site map.
Nearest station: Canary Wharf (DLR, Jubilee Line) and Heron Quay (DLR).