London to get Lumiere light art festival
A major festival of light art is to be staged in London next year by the people who organise the biennial Lumiere festival in Durham.
London's first Lumiere festival will feature illuminations and animations projected at 20 locations in the West End and Kings Cross over four nights.
Julian Opie will be among more than two dozen artists taking part.
The Durham version has been running since 2009 and attracted 175,000 people in 2013.
Almost 180,000 turned out when producers Artichoke staged a Lumiere in Londonderry when it was UK City of Culture the same year.
The London event will take place from 14-17 January. Mayor Boris Johnson said it would be "a dazzling new festival for the capital" that would "expel the post-Christmas blues".
The first artists to be confirmed for London are:
- British artist Julian Opie, known for his graphic portraits (including an album cover for the band Blur) and large-scale animated LED figures, like the one he made for U2's Vertigo world tour in 2005.
- Janet Echelman from the US will create a vast, illuminated aerial net sculpture to be installed above a yet-to-be-specified central London meeting point. Visitors will be able to change its light and patterns using an app.
- Paris-based Irish artists Anne Cleary and Dennis Connolly, known as Cleary Connolly, will bring Joining the Dots, which creates moving figures from projected dots of light, created with the help of local people in Kings Cross.
- Binary Waves by Belgian art-studio LAb[au] features 40 panels that light up in response to movement in the world around them.
Artichoke director Helen Marriage said: "Lumiere was born in Durham and its incredible success has been recognised across the world. Lumiere London will be a very different event with its own artistic programme, but the principles remain the same."
This year's Lumiere will take place in Durham from 12-15 November.