If Twelfth Night leaves you with the January blues, get yourself to Lumiere London this month, when Britain’s capital will be lit up like a Christmas tree all over again to brighten up the gloomiest week of the year.
A London park shape-shifted into a luminous jungle prowled by mysterious creatures, the aurora borealis lighting up Grosvenor Square, the National Theatre melting before your eyes.
Strange happenings are predicted for Britain’s capital city this January but they’re not paranormal phenomena – just extraordinary tricks of the light; digital alchemy and other technical hocus pocus that can turn stone to liquid, make stick figures dance across buildings and cause concrete to sprout flowers.
Timed to lift spirits in the depths of the British winter, Lumiere London will transform the capital into a luminous exhibition space without walls. Under the dextrous digital skills of more than 40 UK and international artists, the city’s most iconic streets and landmarks will shimmer and shine with a mix of 3D projections, interactive installations and animated LED art works that are FREE to see!
From 18-21 January – the week that begins with Blue Monday on January 15, officially the gloomiest day of the year – anyone within travelling distance of the capital will find it impossible NOT to see things in a more positive light.
Record numbers of visitors flocked to 2016’s inaugural event like moths to a flame, exceeding even the organisers’ expectations. Or as The Times newspaper puzzled: ‘What was it that made Londoners leave their homes and tourists their hotels during the city’s coldest four nights in years and, as many spontaneously did, lie face up on the freezing tarmac of Oxford Circus?’
In fact, it was American artist Janet Echelman’s aerial sculpture that saw folk prostrating themselves to get a better angle for their photographs, taking advantage of the traffic-free streets.
As people-pleasing as the Christmas lights which come down on Twelfth Night, the trompe l’oeil winter wonderland took 1.3 million residents and visitors away from their firesides and out into the cold streets during the post-festive lull and rung up an extra £22M worth of business…
Words Belinda Beckett / Photography Matthew Andrews and courtesy of Artichoke