Canary Wharf’s Winter Lights festival returns for fourth instalment

Neon lights illuminate the start of London’s only yearly lights trail. Picture: Rose Morelli

Canary Wharf’s award-winning Winter Lights Festival has returned for its fourth show this January, showcasing over 30 different light installations across the financial district.

Curated by Canary Wharf arts programmer Keith Watson, the 11-day festival hosts work from a diverse range of international artists and technicians, as well as many prominent works from the UK.

Remaining London’s only yearly light festival, the show has grown to display 33 installations across the district. Highlights include Eness’ Sonic Light Bubble and Collectif Coin’s Abstract, which both currently occupy some of Canary Wharf’s busiest walkways.

Visitors brave the rain for Eness’ interactive display. Pic: Rose Morelli

Eness’ interactive Sonic Light Bubble is the first exhibit on the 33-piece trail. Sponsored by Transport for London, the six meter bubble made its debut in Jubilee Plaza, opposite Canary Wharf Underground station.

“This giant synthetic organism attempts to humanise lighting-based public art,” Eness said on their website. The Bubble has 236 responsive LED discs which emit various sound and light patterns when interacted with. “It attracts passers-by to engage and interact with its beauty.”

Nearing the end of the trail in Montgomery Square sits Collectif Coin’s huge technical installation from France, Abstract – only having debuted in its home country in September, the work features a matrix of 90 motorised light sources, each moving independently on vertical axes to looped music.

Collectif Coin’s Abstract: 90 mechanical poles stand at five meters high. Pic: Rose Morelli

“Abstract is inspired by the concept of time and relativity,” Canary Wharf plc said on their website about the piece. “This movement represents the freezing of time while the audience keep their feet firmly on the ground.”

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