Spectacular light installations and interactive art
Our award-winning Winter Lights returns for a sixth year when Canary Wharf will be transformed by over 25 spectacular installations, leaving the dark winter evenings aglow. The spectacle will showcase light art and interactive installations by some of the most innovative artists across the globe working in light art today.
Some favourites have returned alongside pieces never before seen in the UK and some newly commissioned artworks. The exhibition features pieces that can be both admired from afar as well as those which will allow people to get up close and interact with them.
Drop by one of our Winter Lights Bites street food hubs to pick up delicious dishes on the go or make an evening of it and book in to one of the many restaurants or bars at Canary Wharf.
This romantic message declares “I miss you”. Whilst there is no perfect translation, this is the closest adaptation for this Romanian saying. It refers to a deeper meaning about longing or missing someone.
In Romanian, you would usually say “Mi-e dor de tine” to a loved one, a family member or a close friend, someone with whom you share a close, personal bond.
This piece is part of a cultural exchange with Lights On Romania light festival.
Location 1 on our Winter Lights map
An ever-changing cascade of words created by thousands of falling illuminated water droplets. The words are derived from a number of live news sources including The Times, The Guardian and the BBC News. The speed at which information is sourced, exchanged and updated in almost inconceivable, and more fleeting than ever before. The work effectively translates this abstract process into an experience for the senses.
Location 2 on our Winter Lights map
Made from 100 circles of red light, The Clew is a beautiful structure created around the Cubitt Steps Bridge. This minimal and elegant construction will create stunning reflections of sunset on the water and frame the bridge, making you see this familiar landmark in a brand new way.
Location 3 on our Winter Lights map
Once again, the much-loved fountain in Cabot Square has a makeover for Winter Lights with a stunning display of music and light.
Location 4 on our Winter Lights map
Take a seat in between the three figures of Absorbed by Light, designed by the British Gali May Lucas and executed by Berlin-based sculptor Karoline Hinz.
Experience how it feels to be next to the characters on the bench. Although their bodies are physically present, their minds are elsewhere as they exhibit the standard traits of smartphone users: heads bent, fingers typing and swiping, their faces lit up by their phone screens.
This artwork is commissioned by Light Art Collection
Location 5 on our Winter Lights map
This atmospheric UK premiere is inspired by the experience of a night flight over storm clouds. Columbus Courtyard will be transformed into an electrifying life sized cloud made of foam.
On a walkway, travel through and touch the cloud as lighting illuminates the foam to create beautiful colours accompanying the deep throb of a thunderstorm.
Location 6 on our Winter Lights map
Time & Tide, with its hourglass design and colours inspired by nature, reminds us of the urgency of halting the plastic pollution of our oceans. Its form tells us that time is running out to repair this problem before the damage to our planet is irreversible. It reinforces this message through the innovative use of the biodegradable alternative to plastic used in its construction.
UK / Thailand
Location 7 on our Winter Lights map
This fun installation is equally interesting by day as it is under the cover of darkness; during daylight hours, the large cluster landlocked six metre tall buoys absorb the light and give off a magical glow.
By night, thousands of LEDs inside create a whirl of colours and spherical gradients in this installation made from fully recyclable polyethylene marine buoys.
Location 8 on our Winter Lights map
7,344 recycled plastic milk bottles become individual pixels in a giant low-res video screen. Programmed light depicting colours and patterns combined with a custom built soundscape gives you an overall sensory experience. This installation was created to help spread awareness of single use plastic
Location 9 on our Winter Lights map
Stratum is an interactive installation made up of 92 illuminated metal totems. Visitors are invited to move their hand over the sensor to trigger movement in the artwork. Sections of the installation represent different environments and elements, each with their own sound design – explore a cave, the ground, rain, lightning and the stratosphere.
Location 10 on our Winter Lights map
Mountain of Light is a monolithic installation, towering to a height of four meters and brought to life by a dramatic repertoire of lighting effects that begin with subtle changes in shade and culminate in an intense mash up of colours.
Each column is packed with computerised graphics that can be controlled by you to create superb effects. The entire mountain is controllable, so go wild and create 360 degree patterns to run from one side, across, around, down and up the mountain.
Location 11 on our Winter Lights map
A column of light repeating infinitely above and below the audience. Enter the space and experience light and sound swirling around overhead and underfoot trailing into infinity and creating beautiful reflections and colours in both daytime and evening.
Location 12 on our Winter Lights map
NOTE: Due to its unique design, access to the inside of this installation is limited and only accessible by steps. There is an accessible viewing area beside the installation, please ask staff on site for further details.
Create your own unique light painting!
In 2008 Lichtfaktor developed the first real time Light Painting Software. It works on any object, from cars to buildings, transforming almost any object into a living paint canvas so you can create stunning paintings in just a few seconds.
For Winter Lights 2020 Lichtfaktor have teamed up with the German Graffiti Legend Helge “Bomber” Steinmann so expect the unexpected!
Location 13 on our Winter Lights map
Animated water creatures swim and dive around each other in this mesmerizing and delightful interactive light installation.
Design your own water creatures, choosing their shape, colour and behaviour. Projected onto a wall, the resulting aquatic beings come alive inside their watery world, interacting with all the other fluid creatures.
Location 14 on our Winter Lights map
Desire is a playful, sensual design that at first glance looks like giant, red lips. From the side, the image of the lips disappears, and you see a heartbeat instead – a heart beating faster with strong desires.
The 1,500 red lights represent the thousands of nerve endings in human lips and the signals they send to the brain when activated, perhaps by a kiss.
This artwork is commissioned by Light Art Collection.
Location 15 on our Winter Lights map
Making its London debut, Joanie Lemercier’s Constellations takes us on a trip through space with visuals projected onto a giant water screen with an electronic soundscapes by producer Paul Jebanasam.
This show is a gateway for the exploration of the cosmos. 3D like visuals allow us to move from the heart of a black hole into deep space, travelling through planets and stars, as we look for the limits of the universe.
- Concept and creation: Joanie Lemercier
- Music creation: Paul Jebanasam (Eidolons track used by permission from Multiverse Media Publishing and Subtext Recordings)
- Production: Juliette Bibasse
- Additional code: Kyle McLean
- Commissioned by: University of Bristol / Watershed
France / Belgium
Location 16 on our Winter Lights map
Enter the Seed of Life and discover a metallic rainbow spectrum of colours created by reflections and refractions from the natural elements of the daylight.
Inside the installation you are submerged in a giant kaleidoscopic experience, bathed in the iridescent glow of purples, golds, pinks, blues, greens and bronze as if you were enclosed in a giant jewel.
Location 17 on our Winter Lights map
A firm Canary Wharf favourite, our ten stunning light benches, form part of the permanent art collection. The colours change and glow and illuminate their surroundings.
Location 18 on our Winter Lights map
Neon flex will transform a tree into a striking sculpture in the heart of Canada Square Park. This colourful display will shine subtly by day and dazzle by night.
Location 19 on our Winter Lights map
Drawing inspiration from a tradition on the American ski slopes of throwing your bra onto a tree, Canary Wharf will host their own special illuminated version. The aim of the tree is to raise a smile but also much needed funds for our chosen charity Breast Cancer Now, the research and care charity. Breast Cancer Now funds world-class research and life-changing care for anyone affected by breast cancer.
Location 20 on our Winter Lights map
Affinity is an immersive, interactive light sculpture inspired by the dazzling complexity and connectivity of the human brain.
Each person creates their own unique sensory experience as they step inside an intricate web of 120 interconnected globes representing neurons and memories in the brain. As each globe is activated, colourful light streams flow outwards into the sculpture and link to another globe. A pulsing light passes between the two points; the longer the link is held, the brighter the pulse.
Location 21 on our Winter Lights map
The ponds at Jubilee Park are getting a makeover for Winter Lights. See them transformed by thousands of colourful illumined orbs, weaving a stunning stream of light and sound through the park.
Location 22 on our Winter Lights map
Squiggle is a winding mass of 450 metres of digital neon tubing twisting and turning to fill Jubilee Park. This unique sensory journey is created by the artist’s innovative manipulation of space and sense.
Interact with the installation, an abstract reflection of this very multicultural world we live in by viewing it from all its different angles as you venture through the park.
Location 23 on our Winter Lights map
Parker Heyl has a mechanical engineering and robotics background and is interested in kinetic sculpture for live performance.
16 bits moves using physical cogs, analog electronics and unpredictable mechanical systems, rather than precise digital control, highlighting the reductive, flat nature of binary computing and creating something present and real.
The installation was developed as part of the Analog Future project at the Interactive Architecture Lab at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Location 24 on our Winter Lights map
These fun, illuminated sculptures invite you to interact with them. Each glowing creature has alien-like antennae fitted with interactive sensors, so when a visitor is in close proximity their presence is detected and the colours begin to change. Chromatic Play continues Tine Bech Studio’s exploration of the role of play in creating social bonds and how technology increasingly shapes our ideas of public space and the way we interact with one another.
Location 25 on our Winter Lights map
Ten Bank Street becomes a magical winterscape as this new park is illuminated with glowing fir trees. The striking neon colours of the trees create a fantastic contrast with the surrounding buildings.
Location 26 on our Winter Lights map
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