When Mummy’s friend called and asked if she wanted to go and see Lumiere, she thought – great! Let’s cover more areas. So off we went – to Mayfair this time or so we thought.
First stop was at Brown Hart Gardens and there was Sanctuary by Sarah Blood. There were twelve neon birdhouses nestled within the gardens. If you listened carefully you can hear a soundtrack of birdsong, calling out and responding, connecting the isolated birdhouses in the dark.Framing the entrance to Brown Hart Gardens was Dissect also by Sarah Blood.
We walked towards Grosvenor Square – hoards of people walking the streets and all quite festive. But as we got closer, it became very crowded and Mummy had to carry me while her friend carried George or we would have been trampled on. When we finally managed to get into the square, we saw Spinning Night in Living Colour by Elaine Buckholtz which is supposedly “an iconic painting reimagined.” The painting is Van Gogh’s painting All Night Café transformed into a series of moving line paintings.
Lightbenches by Bernd Spiecker for LBO Lichtbankobjekte is exactly what it is – a bench that lights up. Such a good idea – should have a few of those in the garden. We couldn’t really take a good picture of it because it was so crowded, and everyone was sitting on it to have their photo taken. And as it was so dark and the bench so bright, all that came out was my silhouette.
Unfortunately, the Aquarium by Benedetto Bufalino & Benoit Deseille was closed off! What a bummer!
We walked to Piccadilly to see one of the installations that we missed the previous night. I Haven’t Changed my Mind in a Thousand Years by Beth J. Ross – are inspired by an 11th-century manuscript full of proverbs which she had discovered in Durham Cathedral’s library. These neon artworks are done in the script of the artist’s son and are at the two grand entrances to Piccadilly Arcade on Piccadilly and Jermyn Street.
We walked on to Trafalgar Square and we saw Plastic Islands by Luzinterruptus. It was a lot of plastic bottles in the fountain – hope that wouldn’t give people ideas after the installation is finished.
But the one that Mummy really wanted to see was Neon Dogs by Deepa Mann-Kler – for obvious reasons. It was on The Strand but the crowds were 10 deep as the installation was behind glass at the Coutts building. There was no crowd management – so after waiting for ten minutes when the crowd did not move, clever Mummy held her iPhone up high and managed to take this photo –it was one of the series of neon dogs inspired by balloon dogs at birthday parties. Everyone behind us saw the installation through her photo. LOL! That was enough. We really didn’t need to see any more. So we called it a night. There were a couple more installations nearby but it was starting to rain.
As we were taking the bus home, we saw another Lumiere installation as we passed Westminster Abbey – The Light of the Spirit by Patricia Warrener.That was a bonus! We managed to see 18 out of the 31 – think that’s pretty good. Time for bed!
May’s comment: On another cold January night we had been summoned by a friend to go see more lights and we obliged. Last night we went to Grosvenor Square and thought we would go to see the one we missed along Piccadilly. And only because I had a friend with me, we walked to Trafalgar. In the end we saw 18 out of the 31.
It was so much more crowded last night than Friday night. I bet it would have been best to have seen it all on Thursday evening. The light festival is too short as there’s so much to cover. As this is the first year, there are lots of lessons learnt
“Lumiere London is a major new light festival that over four evenings, transforms many of the capital’s most iconic streets and buildings in the West End and King’s Cross. It brings together some of the world’s most exciting artists working with light. Expect large-scale video-mapped projections, interactive pieces and jaw-dropping installations.”
Produced by Artichoke, Lumiere London is on every evening from 6:30-10:30pm and finishes this Sunday, 17 January.