Billed as a festival of “more than 50 dazzling artworks”, Lumiere London failed to thrill. Perhaps London is already amply provided with fascinating light on its many interesting cityscapes. Maybe simply the low luminosity of most of the exhibits, although it seemed that some street lights had been switched off to help. I spoke with several people who were also underwhelmed and asking around for what to see or where to go to be impressed. I couldn’t suggest much, even having followed the event map from Fitzrovia to the West End, the South Bank and then Westminster. I found myself in the company of a lot of people diligently photographing the sights which are simply part of London’s vibrant life after dark.
Leicester Square, reeking of the diesel generator powering the very static and rather staid display but which makes a striking photo.
Trafalgar Square. Tethered illuminated balloons programmed to brighten and dim seemingly randomly.
Store Street, Bloomsbury (not Fitzrovia as the handout suggests). A kinetic display on the building and a kinetic globe sculpture but disappointingly dim compared to the street lights.
And a couple of the well-known night vistas as comparison: the Emperor’s usual old clothes are pretty good but thank you London Lumiere for a good try.
Update: I’ve been told (thanks Ian, thanks Luciano) of some other worthwhile displays around, I’ve heard favourably of displays at Regents Canal near Kings Cross and also Westminster Abbey but the display in Lower Regents Street seems to have been spoilt by the new, super-bright advertising screens in Piccadilly Circus.