The second edition of the light festival Lumiere London drew to a close on Sunday 21 January, with critics declaring the festival an emphatic success. The West End was transformed for four nights, awash in light and sound as its streets, buildings and public spaces were illuminated by 15 artworks by UK and international artists.
First estimates indicate that between 1.5 and 1.8 million people visited the free festival over four nights, traversing the city centre on foot through pedestrianised streets. Produced by arts charity Artichoke and commissioned by the Mayor of London, the festival was completely free to attend and is the capital’s largest art event.
Despite taking place over some of the coldest nights of the year, enthusiastic festival-goers were undeterred by the wintry weather and thronged the streets of London.
A firm festival favourite was Miguel Chevalier’s Origin of the World Bubble 2018, which delighted visitors at Oxford Circus, who watched the changing shapes projected onto the huge sphere lit suspended across this world-famous junction.
Many of the works were accompanied by sound, such as Voyage, by Camille Gross & Leslie Epzstein, on Regent Street. Visitors watched the hands of the Hotel Cafe Royal clock speed through time along with a specially created soundtrack.
Local community members were also at the heart of The Umbrella Project, an ‘on-the-move’ performance which was choreographed after a series of community workshops and performed across various locations throughout Piccadilly, Mayfair and Fitzrovia during the festival.
Over 50 pieces of media coverage specifically about the West End were secured reaching over 500 million people, including BBC Radio London, London Live, The Guardian, The Sun, Business Insider, City AM and London Evening Standard.