Kindling imagination and bringing the capital out of hibernation, Canary Wharf’s Winter Lights festival kicks off for its sixth year this January. In the dreariest of months, the annual light festival promises to spark the new decade into life with an eclectic curation of work at the intersection of technology and art – all in one destination.
The festival is the only place to see such a beautifully unique collection of light art from all over the globe, featuring more than 20 installations – some never-before-seen and some returning favourites. Imagine a 450 metre twisting mass of digital neon tubing piercing the night’s darkness, 100 circles of red strobes intrinsically weaved into a Canary Wharf landmark, vast projections of aquatic creatures, and much, much more.
Winter Lights 2020 will run for a 10-day period from Thursday 16th January to Saturday 25th January. This year’s festival has extended opening hours, beginning at 4pm, and runs over two weekends, giving everyone lots of opportunities to experience one of London’s stand out calendar events.
Inspiring the public year after year, Winter Lights has become a staple in London’s social calendar, and recently claimed its second darc award, winning Best Event for 2019’s festival.
New This Year
Debuting from Down Under in New Zealand and twisting throughout Jubilee Park is Squiggle by Angus Muir. The artwork is born from 450 metres of digital neon tubing and ventures through one of Canary Wharf’s most tranquil areas. The sea of twists and turns allows visitors to interact with the installation by viewing it from different angles – as an abstract reflection of the multicultural world we live in.
Another Antipodean delight is Affinity, by Amigo & Amigo and S1T2, which allows you to step into a series of interconnected globes representing neurons and memories in the brain. This intimate work encourages interaction, with each touch generating colourful light streams that flow outwards into the sculpture and link to another globe.
The Clew by Portuguese artists Ottotto, weaves its way into the fabric of the Estate, with 100 sharp red strobes entwined in the structure of Cubitt Steps bridge. The minimalistic design creates a series of captivating reflections on the surrounding water and structures, giving a different perspective on the architecture of Canary Wharf.
From the UK, Lactolight by Lactolight, harnesses environmental conversation through the use of single use plastics. Reimagining milk bottles as low-quality pixels, the LED artwork highlights the decrease in the quality of our world’s environment.
Another homegrown debut is Ditto, by Ithaca. This repeating column of light drifts above and below audiences, repeating infinitely. Sound accompanies the swirling motion, creating a visceral relationship with the artwork, while the mirrored discs reflect spectacularly both night and day.
Aquatics, by German artist Philipp Artus, is an interactive light installation in which animated water creatures swim around and interact with each other, highlighting our concerns for the ocean. Visitors are invited to design their own water creatures by making choices about their shape, colour and behaviour, which is then projected onto a wall.
Also debuting is Daisler Association’s, ‘Mi-e dor de tine’, which means ‘I miss you’ in Romanian. The piece represents a special link with the Romanian Light ON festival in the city of Cluj and was installed in Canary Wharf from November as an early preview of the Winter Lights festival.
Public Art Curator of Canary Wharf Group, Keith Watson comments: “Heading into our sixth edition, Winter Lights continues to be one of the most engaging calendar moments of the year. This beautiful selection of works will not only captivate people, but also provoke a deeper conversation across a range of topics.”
“Each year we look forward to seeing such a diverse audience visiting Canary Wharf. This year we’ve extended the opening hours to make the festival even more accessible to families. The stunning immersive and interactive artworks will thrill and astound visitors– and we hope it goes some way to inspiring the next generation.”
Once again, UK artist Amberlights provides a much-needed spectrum of colour through the vibrant and captivating piece, Seed of Life. For an immersive experience, visitors can enter this metallic rainbow and encase themselves within a kaleidoscopic world of jewel tone colours.
After lighting up smiles in 2018, Luma Paint Light Graffiti by Lichtfaktor and Bomber Graffiti return to Winter Lights. This interactive canvas can be decorated with a fusion of object mapping and light graffiti to create stunning light art in rapid speed.
Time & Time by UK and Thai artists, Paul & Pute, return to reinforce the urgency of reducing plastic in our oceans, following its dazzling debut last year. The hourglass symbolises the importance of each minute and that time is running out to repair this problem before the damage to our planet is irreversible.
Sasha Trees by ADAM DecoLight, comes back to Winter Lights in the new location of 10 Bank Street. The striking neon collection creates a stark contrast with the surrounding buildings, morphing the area into a magical winterscape.
The full list of over 25 artworks can be viewed below.
Winter Lights Bites
Throughout Winter Lights, visitors will find a variety of food trucks serving up delicious dishes and hot drinks. Found in Cabot Square, Montgomery Square and Crossrail Place, the three food hubs will be home to a diverse range of cuisines catering for every palette – making it the perfect way to round off a memorable evening.
Grate Rostis: Grate Rostis create something new out of a classic, with a variety of toppings and flavours for the Swiss potato dish.
The Rolling Dough: The Rolling Dough provides the most amazing freshly baked pizzas, ready in 60 seconds from their wood-fired oven.
3 Little Pigs: This combination of Greek and British cuisine uses time honoured cooking methods, family recipes and quality to produce souvlaki found nowhere else.
The Duckshed: Slow roast free-range English duck served in a brioche bun, a wrap or a salad box, with two delicious flavours to choose from: The British and The Vietnamese.
Utter Waffle: Utter Waffle is London’s newest street food concept – light and crispy savoury waffles, loaded with tasty and unexpected fillings.
Slingin’ Po’Boys: Bringing a taste of Louisiana with New Orleans flame grilled Cajun chicken. Flavours of the deep south come together in epic baskets.
Nazari: Combining the best of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods, Nazari brings the flavour to flatbread wraps and falafel.
Pulled: Fueling visitors with a meaty meal; Pulled offers up the best in roasted meats and killer coleslaw.
Cripes It’s Crepes: Choose from an endless selection of toppings, with each crepe beautifully crafted for the ultimate flavour.
Belgian Waffle Tuk: Dishing up the best waffles in town, Belgian Waffle Tuk is the perfect place for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Canary Wharf’s Winter Lights festival returns free to the public between Thursday 16th January and Saturday 25th January. For more information visit www.canarywharf.com where you can download a map to help guide you through the festival
For further information, please contact:
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2166