COVID-19 has caused issues for many London art installations and meant a lot of cancellations and lost opportunities to celebrate during the run up to Christmas. However, there are also many organisers who have chosen not to cancel and instead looked for ways to adapt to allow events to continue to go ahead - just with a few amendments to make them COVID safe. The Canary Wharf Winter Lights festival is an annual event that is a must-see for anyone in this part of London. For 2020 the Winter Lights festival has been postponed but is being replaced by something else instead.
Connected by Light
This year, Canary Wharf is launching Connected by Light, which is a COVID-secure version of its legendary annual lights event. Connected by Light will feature nine new light installations designed to bring illumination and entertainment to Canary Wharf. The event is free and launched on 2nd December. It’s the perfect opportunity for Londoners to enjoy these vibrant art pieces in the safety of social distance and a little bit of magic in the heart of one of the busiest areas of the city.
What can you see?
The lighted art is part of the Canary Wharf public art collection which numbers some 75 pieces in total across the Docklands estate. Not all of these are light installations - you can find information about the art collection, as well as those that feature as part of Connected by Light at canarywharf.com. The website provides information about the installations, as well as a map so that you can discover all the luminous pieces for yourself. Some of the highlights include:
- The Office Party installation by Parker Heyl has a bit of a Disney feel in that it portrays a workspace that magically comes to life without its occupants. The installation playfully depicts the workspace as more than just a place where humans operate but as an independently thriving presence in its own right.
- The Stories Under Our Feet. This installation by artist Elisa Artesero uses moving words to create a magical experience. Text seems to fall from benches and then forms into poems on the ground beneath.
- Hawthorn’s Newfoundland Reflections is set over the enormous canvas of a 60-storey residential block.The light installation casts a glowing spell over this huge tower, reflecting downward into the water and the streets below.
- Curious Flurious takes Alice in Wonderland as its inspiration with artists Baker and Borowski using sculpture-esque pieces to light up the space and create an enchantingly Instagrammable spot.
- Murmuration comes from Squidsoup (who you may remember as being responsible for the immersive installation Submergence last year). Montgomery Square is the home for this installation - there you’ll find hundreds of orbs navigating the square, almost like the birds the installation was inspired by, backed by a mesmerising soundtrack.
Connected by Light might be slightly smaller than the annual luminous event at Canary Wharf but it represents a COVID-secure way to get inspired and enthralled in the run up to Christmas this year.
Find out more about Scott Fleary’s design tech construction.