Sitting in the drawing room couch on a weekend (we had nowhere to go as 2 major tube lines were cut off 2 days for maintenance), my friend suddenly got reminded of the Lumiere Festival. Browsing a bit online, I was sure, I wanted to go. However that would mean, travelling by bus in traffic to reach a different tube line station! Anyways, I was too tempted to go (thanks to instagram), despite the trouble...
So, Lumiere London is an event organized by Artichoke with the support of the Mayor of London. Its a Street Light Festival where ordinary cityscapes are transformed to works of art! This happened in 4 areas in London and I visited 2 of those - Piccadilly & Westminster.
Here are the works of art that I loved the most. My most favourite was Keyframes by France based, Groupe LAPS. This was a series of stick men is various postures made of LED lights. That's normal, what was amazing was that they were lighted in various orders, that created a very animated effect, all in a huge scale on the entire face of a the Liberty House near Regent Street! It was just awesome. Its looks like notebook animation, but the very fact that its all light and the sheer size of it, is spectacular.
The next 2 big favourites were Les Voyageurs (The Travellers) by Cedric Le Borgne at the St James and Dresses by Tae Gon Kim at Liberty Dept Store window display. Les Voyageurs is a set of few human anatomically correct sculptures made of light in various postures in various locations, some flying in air, some seated atop nearby building, some hanging from trees etc. The outer mesh is made of just chicken wire, but with the lighting, it comes to life!
With fiber optics and LED lights that keep the color changing, I'm pretty sure the gowns would sooner or later become a choice for brides!
2 other installations that I liked were 195 Piccadelly by NOVAC and Luminéoles by Porté par le vent. 195 Picadelly is a series of images from BAFTA's archive about the various genre of Cinema & Television. The images looks like water color splashes and paintings accompanied by sound. Though digital, this was one spectacular show.
Lumineoles look like tadpoles, but just too big. Along with huge illuminated flowers on the road these were operated by personnel. The concept was pretty much of huge balloons or kites.
Here are some more that I saw there. Elephantastic in Oxford Street, was a projection of an animated elephant complete with south and dust effect! Shaida Walking in Broadwick Street, was again a digital display on a LED panel in a pedestrian path which is an animation in loop that looks like a person walking!
1.8 London is an installation made of fishing net, so huge that its hung from buildings across the road at Oxford Circus. Its inspired by the NASA imageries of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami. From 4 sides, lights were projected onto the net that was already moving in the wind, bringing a surreal feel to it.
The 3m tall Centre Point lights, were brought down from the Centre Point building to be at the Trafalgar Square for the festival. Plastic island was a ring of plastic bottles floating at the fountain at Trafalgar Square. Neon dogs looks like the balloon dogs made for children, but here made of glass illuminated with neon!
The major streets were shut for vehicles and the lights from the commercial buildings were controlled! To go in line with the festival, some of the shopkeepers there also had some fabulous lighting in the smaller lanes!!
Dedicated to Venkat & Conrad