Lonely Planet Writer

Giant angel wings, glowing graffiti and floating poetry: a first look at this year’s Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival

The dark winter evenings at Canary Wharf in London are due to be illuminated for the next ten days with a series of incredible state-of-the-art light installations that include giant angel wings, floating poetry and glowing graffiti.

the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival
Amy Penn poses with Angels from Freedom at the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival. Image by Matt Alexander/PA Wire

The installations are part of the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival, a London event now in its third year that sees colourful creations being designed by artists from all over the world. This year’s exhibition brings 30 innovative light sculptures, installations and immersive experiences for visitors to interact with.

the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival
At seven metres, Ovo, by Ovo Collective immerses visitors in a unique light structure. Image by Matt Alexander/PA Wire
the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival
Horizontal Interference by Joachim Slugocki and Katarzyna Malejka illuminates Westferry Circus in Canary Wharf, London as part of the Winter Lights Festival. Image by Matt Alexander/PA Wire

This year’s amazing Winter Lights Festival at Canary Wharf is our best yet, surpassing last year’s spectacular award-winning offer. The roster of artists we’ve attracted are some of the most imaginative creators working in the field today. What sets our festival apart from other light festivals across Europe is that you can get close up to the works, meet many of the artists and enjoy an escapist and enriching experience on your own or with family and friends,’ said Visual Arts curator of Canary Wharf Group Keith Watson.

the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival
On Your Wavelength by Marcus Lyall uses mind-power to choreograph light patterns. Image by Matt Alexander/PA Wire
Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival
The Angels of Freedom installation contains a deep underlying message discouraging discrimination through interaction. Image by Matt Alexander/PA Wire

The exhibition includes Angels of Freedom by Merav Etan and Gaston Zahr, an installation of five giant wings with white halos encouraging people to turn into angels with a few simple steps through the power of photography, while The Garden of Floating Words by Elisa Artesero gives the impression that a cluster of neon words are floating in the foliage of Jubilee Park, creating a poem of transience. Another interesting piece is Marcus Lyall’s On Your Wavelength, a mind-powered laser and sound installation that uses over 20,000 LEDs along with the brain activity of visitors to choreograph beautiful light patterns.

Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival
Bloom by Squidsoup is seen at Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival. Image by Leon Neal/Getty Images

The Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival is running until 27 January and is free for all to attend. More information on the exhibition is available at the official Canary Wharf website.

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