This past weekend London played host to its first Lumiere festival, a series of light installations placed around the capital. If you were reluctant to face the crowds, here’s a selection of a few of the installations we managed to get a peek of over the weekend.
My favourite out of them all was the light projection over the facade of Westminster Abbey. With each individual statue ‘coloured in’ by the light projection, it emphasized the architectural detail of the building that is not so easily appreciated in its usual brown stone.
Nearby was the ‘Voyageurs’ installation by Cedric Le Borgne, inhabiting a green square just off St James’s Park. The statues have previously been displayed in Toulouse, Geneva and Seoul, and with us passing the time spying their swooping and sitting figures amongst the roofs of the city, it was easy to see why they were chosen to be displayed in London as well.
Blink-and-you’ll-miss-it (and there were several people we saw who did completely walk past them!) Beth J Ross’s installations features forgotten proverbs from an 11-century manuscript given a modern-day makeover, to highlight how their wise words are still relevant today.
The street leading up to Piccadilly Circus was completely taken over by Lumiere with multiple installations that literally covered the buildings and street. First up was at 195 Piccadilly, which featured watercolour projections over the building and headquarters of the coincidental Royal Society of Watercolour Painters. Featuring scenes and actors from famous genres of cinema and television, the large crowds that congregated around it made it an obvious firm favourite.
A quirky take on the term ‘flying fish’, these humongous installations lit up the sky by Piccadilly Circus. Combined with eerie music and drifting lights on Le Meridien hotel, as well as brightly-lit strings of lanterns, the installation transformed Piccadilly Circus into an underwater world.
Did you see the Lumiere lights in London? What were your favourites?