London’s architecture takes on an entirely new impression this January with the return of an incredible Light Festival. First held two years ago, Lumiere attracted over a million people into the streets, parks and gardens of the city, all intent on discovering the amazing artistic delights on offer.
Two years ago there were flying bodies, light fountains, giant elephants at windows, painted facades and light patterns. According to the organizers, the 2018 festival is set to be even bigger and better!
Over 40 international and UK artists are involved. Their brief is simple – imaginatively illuminate London’s iconic architecture and this, they have definitely achieved. Wherever you go during the festival nights, you will be entertained, wowed and enthralled. Alternatively, you can try booking any of the hotels Gower Street London to ease off travel heck.
The stark outlines of the National Theatre on the South Bank are well known – but during the festival it is set to become a glowing, transcendent beacon of light, animating and liquefying the hard concrete. Along the façade of Westminster Abbey, brilliantly painted statues and stonework transform the familiar building while in South Audley Street, Mayfair tubes of fluorescent light climb up a building like ivy, growing over and around the ornate brickwork decorations bathing the area in a soft blue light. A much quieter, nocturnal landscape is revealed at Leicester Square where a luminous secret garden appears inhabited by strange, curious creatures. Want to experience a dramatic sound and light installation? Then head out of your hotel room at the Regency House Hotel London for Kings Cross, where an incredible audiovisual extravaganza involves a glittering mass of light, rolling and splinters to music.
There is so much to see, that it is hard to explore everything in one night especially since the Lumiere covers a vast area on both sides of the River Thames. Key areas include King’s Cross and London’s West End including Mayfair, Carnaby Street, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly and Regent Street. Yet more illuminations can be found in Westminister, Seven Dials, Covent Garden and around St James’s and St James’s Market as well as the South Bank and Waterloo. Maps can be downloaded at www.visitlondon.com/lumiere/programme/map
Dress warmly because the nights can be very cold and the illuminations continue until late into the night. Wear comfortable shoes as there will be a lot of walking. Book a stay at any of the hotels near Oxford Street and be prepared for fun and excitement as thousands of people are expected to take part each night.