Lighting up London: the Lumiere festival

Image © Matthew Andrews, 2018. Artwork: Entre Les Rangs by Rami Bebawi / KANVA, Lewis Cubitt, Kings Cross. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 - 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.
Image © Matthew Andrews, 2018. Artwork: Entre Les Rangs by Rami Bebawi / KANVA, Lewis Cubitt, Kings Cross. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 - 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.

Strange structures have started popping up across London.  Quite a lot of them close to SOAS University of London.  Large black cubes; giant metal sculptures; perhaps most peculiar of all, over-sized Anglepoise desk-lamps.  What does it all mean?

Lumiere Anglepoise

The answer is simple: the start of Lumiere London.

Lumiere London

The UK’s largest light festival runs from 18-21 January 2018, and centres around 50 artworks spread throughout central London, from King’s Cross and Fitzrovia, to Mayfair and the West End; the South Bank and Waterloo, to Westminster and Victoria.  Lighting up time starts at 5.30PM each evening, with lights off at 10.30PM.

Lumiere sign

Fitzrovia

Some of the light installations, which are located closest to SOAS are in the Fitzrovia region of London.  By daylight, the brightest thing about several of the artworks are the high-viz jackets of the security guards, whose job it is to protect the exhibits from prying spectators but, by night, the sites are transformed.

The four sites in Fitzrovia are: CONTROL NO CONTROL, an interactive LED sculpture in Whitfield Gardens; Cosmoscope and A-BIT IMMERSIVE, both located in Store Street; and Droplets, tucked away in Fitzroy Place.

Lampounette

Lumiere Anglepoise daytime

Located in King’s Boulevard, close to both King’s Cross and St. Pancras railway stations, Lampounette pays homage to the iconic desk accessory, which every cubicle worker will instantly recognise: the Anglepoise lamp.

The one difference about Lampounette is that its lamps are giant-sized.

Image © Matthew Andrews. Artwork: Lampounette by TILT, King’s Boulevard, Kings Cross. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 - 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.

Image © Matthew Andrews. Artwork: Lampounette by TILT, King’s Boulevard, Kings Cross. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.

The Light of the Spirit (Chapter 2)

One of the more ambitious projects at this year’s Lumiere London is The Light of the Spirit (Chapter 2) by French digital artist Patrice Warrener.  Warrener illuminates the Great West Gate of Westminster Abbey, highlighting the architectural details of the building, and breathing life into the sculptured figures, which adorn the façade above the doors.

Image © Matthew Andrews, 2018. Artwork: The Light of the Spirit Chapter 2 by Patrice Warrener, Westminster Abbey, Westminster. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 - 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.

Image © Matthew Andrews, 2018. Artwork: The Light of the Spirit Chapter 2 by Patrice Warrener, Westminster Abbey, Westminster. Preview of Lumiere London, 18 – 21 January, produced by Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London.

Find out more

  • Discover more illuminated sights around London on Lumiere London’s map
  • Find out about other cultural attractions in Bloomsbury close to SOAS
  • Check out what events are on at SOAS this week

 

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