Lumiere London is back! See a map and information on all the artworks on offer.
Running from Thursday, January 18 to Sunday, January 21, the free Lumiere London features 50 glowing artworks installed in Central London locations, lit up each night between 5.30pm and 11pm. A previous edition of the event was extremely busy, so we’d recommend avoiding Saturday, and expecting crowds in certain places. Now read on for our guide to all 51 artworks and how to see them!
The Lumiere London 2018 Map
The Lumiere map above gives you a rough sense of where the light installations are clustered: the West End and Mayfair, Westminster and Victoria, the Southbank, Kings Cross, and Fitzrovia. For a more detailed view, you can get a downloadable, zoomable and printable map for just £1 (or more, if you’d like to support the organisers) from the event website – this contains the exact location of every Lumiere artwork.
The best things to see at Lumiere London
We’ve chosen some of our favourites in the video above, both big and small. Some major artworks are installed in large spaces which should help avoid overcrowding: Waterlicht in Granary Square, Child Hood in Trafalgar Square, and The Light Of The Spirit at Westminster Abbey are the three biggest examples.
Lumiere installations in the West End
A construction of ‘colourful cords’ by Katarzyna Malejka and Joachim Slugock, in St. James’s Square.
A new piece from Studio Roso, seen here under construction, in St. James’s Market.
448 jars contain dancing figures and other puzzling projections in this piece from Stéphane Masson, also in St. James’s Market.
4) HARMONIC PORTAL
In St. James’s Church, discover a soothing, colour-changing portal to another dimension, created by Chris Plant.
5) MY LIGHT IS YOUR LIGHT
Alaa Minawi’s figures of light are a tribute to families who have been forced to leave their homes due to disaster and conflict. Find it in St James’s Churchyard.
6) BE FAITHFUL TO YOUR DREAMS
A neon sign from Tracey Emin, also in St James’s Churchyard.
7) LOVE MOTION
A new digital artwork projected onto the facade of the Royal Academy, by recent graduate Rhys Coren. Find it in the RA Courtyard.
See the Hotel Royal in Piccadilly Circus transformed with projections that take viewers on a journey through time and space. Designed by Camille Gross and Leslie Epsztein.
This geometric projection on 103 Regent Street will make the building appear to shift size and shape constantly. Images to follow on this one…
10) SHAIDA WALKING 2015
This cool, constantly-walking plinth is a permanent installation on Carnaby Street, but is listed as part of the festival. Cheating!
11) PLUG & BULBS
These colourful overhead lights from James Glancy Design are also a permanent feature, but worth posing with while you’re in the area.
12) ORIGIN OF THE WORLD BUBBLE
A giant orb floating above Oxford Circus will display constantly shifting patterns in response to movement below. (Don’t get run over!) Designed by Miguel Chevalier.
A red telephone box is transformed into an aquarium on Seven Dials’ Earlham Street, in this creation from Benedetto Bufalino and Benoit Deseille.
14) FLAMINGO FLYAWAY
Flamingo lanterns will be parading through Chinatown during the festival.
Glowing nature-themed lanterns from Jo Pockcok and The Lantern Company can be found in Leicester Square Gardens.
Lumiere installations in London and Victoria
This inviting neon ladder from Ron Haselden can be found – but not climbed! – in St Martin-in-the-Fields.
17) CHILD HOOD
Collectif Coin present a hypnotic field of illuminated balloons in Trafalgar Square.
18) THE ROSE
This beautiful installation of illuminated plastic bottles is powered by a public pedal bike. Designed by Mick Stephenson, you can see it in Westminster Cathedral.
19) ASALTO LONDON
Figures (that are actually captured from real local residents) appear to slowly climb Westminster City Hall in this piece by Daniel Canogar.
20) THE LIGHT OF THE SPIRIT (CHAPTER 2)
Perhaps the most famous installation from 2016’s Lumiere Festival, this projection from Patrice Warrener France will once more turn Westminster Abbey’s inconspicuous figurines into technicolour marvels. And this year, a whole new part of the building will also receive the psychedelic treatment.
21) THE UMBRELLA PROJECT
Keep an eye out for performers from the local community with their eye-catching, glow-in-the-dark brollies. This roving performance is brought to you by Cirque Bijou.
Lumiere installations in Fitzrovia
22) CONTROL NO CONTROL
Daniel Iregui’s interactive LED cube responds to the touch of visitors. Give it a stroke at Whitfield Gardens.
This light sculpture on Store Street from Simeon Nelson, Nick Rothwell and Rob Godman takes inspiration from the structure of the universe. So now you know.
24) A-BIT IMMERSIVE
Activity outside Imagination’s Store Street offices will trigger ‘spectacular lighting effects’ from within the building itself.
Head to Fitzroy Place to see Ulf Pedersen’s installation of twelve animated water droplets, seen here in an earlier location.
Lumiere installations in Mayfair
These adorable light-up seesaws will be a-bouncin’ on South Moulton Street, thanks to Lateral Office and CS Design.
It’s a bench that’s a light. Simple, really! Take a seat on Weighhouse Street.
What if bikes… but neon? Robyn Wright’s installation answers that question at Brown Hart Gardens.
29) NORTHERN LIGHTS
100 columns of LED lights perform a synchronised display evocative of the aurora borealis. Designed by Aleksandra Stratimirovic, it will be installed in Grosevenor Square.
This interactive, musical sculpture consists of 100 playable chime bars – and naturally, it lights up as you play. Play a ditty on it opposite the Connaught Hotel on Mount Street.
Sparks of light slowly move through the darkness in Mount Street Gardens, thanks to this clever creation from Atsara.
32) BOUGH 3
Simon Corder created the lights outside the OXO Tower (pictured above) – see his latest Lumiere installation at 17 South Audley Street.
33) WAS IT A DREAM?
Find Cédric Le Bogne’s ethereal wire sculptures in Berkeley Square. Don’t forget to tweet!
Lumiere installations around Southbank
34) RUBY / SANTIAGO / ADAM: GREY MATTERS
A triptych of works from Emma Collins will grace this famous graffiti-lined underpass.
35) EYE LOVE LONDON
The London Eye will be illuminated with a special just-for-Lumiere display.
This work by David Ward has something to do with the soles of dancers’ feet, and you can see it outside the Rambert Building on Upper Ground.
37) THAMES PULSE
Did you know the lights on the front of the Sea Containers hotel, designed by Jason Bruges, represent the water quality of the Thames? True story.
38) THE WAVE
Walk through this pulsating path of 40 illuminated triangles on the South Bank riverside. Designed by Vertigo.
The National Theatre’s flytower will turn into an illuminated monument thanks to Ulf Langheinrich’s artistry.
40) SIXTY MINUTE SPECTRUM
The pyramid skylights on the roof of the Hayward Gallery slowly cycle through the colour spectrum every hour, in an installation by David Batchelor. (The cranes behind are not part of Lumiere, but also pretty cool if you ask us!)
Lumiere installations around King’s Cross
41) IDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT
Known to you and me ‘that light up birdcage’, this permanent installation from Jacques Rival, outside Kings Cross station, has earned an honorary spot on the Lumiere programme.
Philippe Morvan’s grid of 175 lights will react to a specially composed soundtrack in Pancras Square.
The lights of the Kings Cross Tunnel will synchronise with the breeze in a local park, thanks to some tech wizardry from Maya Mouawad and Cyril Laurier.
Designers TILT will be installing these giant, playful desk lamps on King’s Boulevard.
Walk beneath the waves in Granary Square, as Daan Roosegaarde’s laser installation gives us an ominous taste of rising sea levels.
A simulated version of construction work will be projected against Coal Drops Yard.
47) GUARDIAN ANGELS
A gaggle of floating watering cans magically pour ‘water’ into the darkness in this piece from Maro Avrabou & Dimitri Xenakis, by Gas Holder No. 8.
48) ENTRE LES RANGES
Thousands of mirrored ‘flowers’ shimmer in the darkness in Lewis Cubitt Park, a collaboration between Rami Bebawi and KANVA.
The Architecture Social Club and music producer Max Cooper join forces to reveal a glittering, dynamic artwork in the West Handyside Canopy.
50) DECONSTRUCTING THE DOMESTIC
Find five pieces from Nathaniel Rackowe around the Universal Building.
51) A LIGHT BITE TO EAT
If all that sounds exhausting, worry not. Seven London restaurants have conspired to offer the ‘Dine Your Way’ package, so you can have a cocktail at one venue to start your explorations, a main course at a second restaurant half-way through, and a dessert and nightcap at a third, when your journey is done.