A Yearful of London Week 2: Light up London

 

When I heard that London was to be illuminated with beautiful light installations all over the city this weekend, it wasn't hard to decide on the week's Yearful of London activity..

 

My broken leg? That won't stop us. With rented wheels, my pal Heather and I headed down to Lumiere London at King's Cross. Core blimey, we were excited...

 

 

Straight out of King's Cross station we saw the first installation - a beautifully lit-up bird cage! "Wow" we squealed.

 

 

As we got closer, we saw there was a swing inside. Heather couldn't resist. Inside the cage we rolled, off came the sweet little girl enjoying a gentle sway, and onto the swing Heather clambers. So enthused was Heather's motion that I couldn't get a snap for quite some time...

 

 

 Completely missed her...

 

 

Is it a bird?

 

 

Is it a plane?

 

 

No, it's my beautiful friend Heather! Out of the cage we bumped and on to the next installation just across the road. At first glance, it looked a bit lazy. A few dots on a wall...

 

 

 

But after watching it for a while, we noticed that the dots were moving and each group of dots was a human being carrying out a different activity: climbing, lifting weights at the gym, press ups! Fancy that! How can a few dots look so human-like?!

 

 

Just mesmerising...

 

Our free map (given to us by a lovely lady in high vis pink) told us that we missed the next couple. The next attraction we saw was Light Graffiti: an interactive installation where the audience were giving light torches that 'painted' on the ground.

 

Very cool... But our faith in humanity left the exhibit a little disappointed: how loudly does a young girl in a wheelchair in the front row have to shout "I'd really love a go!" before somebody selflessly gives them a light torch? After five minutes we gave up.

 

Round the corner was one of the biggest installations, Circus of Light. Good fun - we would have watched it for much longer had London's arctic winter chosen a different night to set in. Managed to take a quick video before rolling to a welcomed inside installation.

 

 

Inside Central Saint Martins centre for Art & Design was the most thoughtful installations, Litre of Light. This showed that by filling a plastic bottle with water and bleach and pushing it through a hole in the roof, you can create as much light as a 55 watt lightbulb.

 

This technique has been used in developing countries. What a beautiful triumph for sustainability!

 

It was hard to get good snaps from my wheels but I gave it a go (when women weren't shoving their bags in my face)...

 

 

"Have you got a tent in there, love? Get it out my personal space... I want to take some pictures of the lights!"

 

 Fewer bag ladies at the sides of the tunnels...

 

 

 

Yes... much nicer over here!

 

 

Last one's from Heather, showing off from her greater vantage point.

 

Back into the cold to see the next one: Spectra 3. A fun revolving sculpture that we thought looked like a satellite on Mars, perhaps. But I couldn't find any reference to that on the Lumiere London website.

 

 

Back down to earth, we saw a pretty installation on the way to the big finale...

 

 

 

 

...and a tent with some fairy lights, pretending to be an installation:

 

 

As we approached the big finale, Heather thought that Lumiere London had got a bit risqué and erected an installation of a giant penis. However, it was actually a beautiful moving diver:

 

We had a wonderful time seeing all the beautiful installations around the King's Cross area but they are dotted all around London. I thoroughly recommend you trying to see as many of them as you can, even if you spread it over a couple of nights.

 

Visiting Lumiere London

Lumiere London is a festival here in London for just 4 nights from the 14th-17th London 6:30pm to 10:30pm.  And it's free!

 

For full details of all the instillations please visit the Lumiere London website.

 

VisitLondon have a really handy map that you can download here.

 

A Yearful of London

A Yearful of London is a self-made challenge to do something-you-can-only-do-in-London every week for 2016. As co-founder of running tours company, Secret London Runs, I wanted a challenge that gave me the required urgently to fit exploring London into my busy schedule so I can put on the best events and tours (as soon as this plaster cast is off my leg!) in London. If you have any suggestions, email secretlondonruns@gmail.com. 

 

 

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