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Review: Winter Lights 2019 in Canary Wharf – 15 to 26 January 2019

Canary Wharf is best known for being one of London’s main financial district but has one of the largest collections of public art in Europe. Throughout the year it has a series of festivals and events, one of Canary Wharf’s most popular festivals is the Winter Lights Festival.

The Winter Lights festival returns for a fifth year attracting some of the most imaginative light artists from around the world to create spectacular artworks, installations and interactive experiences.

The festival attracts large crowds and provides plenty of entertainment for all the family.

1: Prismatica by RAW Design in collaboration with ATOMIC3, Jubilee Plaza

Prismatica turns heads with the countless colourful reflections made by its giant prisms. Visitors can walk amongst them to see city life in every colour of the spectrum and spin the prisms to make them dance.

2. BIT.FALL by Julius Popp, Chancellor Passage, Middle Dock

The speed at which information is sourced, exchanged and updated in our modern society is almost inconceivable, and more ephemeral than ever before. The work BIT.FALL translate this abstract process into an experience for the senses as an ever-changing cascade of words, derived from a live newsfeed on The Times website, falls down on a wall of water.

3. Two Hearts by Stuart Langley, projection in Newfoundland Place, viewing point at Cubitt Steps

As the structure of this iconic residential skyscraper grows, lower level windows flicker and shine with light to momentarily form two illuminated and transient hearts, symbolic of the life and energy the building is poised to support.

4. Whale Ghost by Pitaya, Cubitt Steps

This monumentally-scaled kinetic sculpture echoes the marine mammal and fossil skeletons seen in natural history museums. Whale Ghost invites the visitor to spend a moment thinking about the impact of mankind on our biodiversity.

5. Sasha Trees by Adam Decolight, Westferry Circus

Westferry Circus becomes a magical winterscape as we illuminate this beautiful location with glowing fir trees. The striking neon colours of the trees create a fantastic contrast with natural foliage surrounding them.

6. Blue Neuron by Zac Greening, Columbus Courtyard

Blue Neuron is a beautiful kinetic light installation built from reworked heat-treated plastic bottles. Zac’s inspiration comes principally from nature. Working in a wide range of media, from discarded plastic bottles to laser projections, his works often comment on issues such as sustainability, environmental degradation and consumption.

7. Time & Tide By Paul & Pute, Columbus Courtyard

Time & Tide, with its hourglass design and colours inspired by nature, aims to remind us of the urgency of halting the plastic pollution of our oceans. Its form tells us that time is running out to repair this problem before the damage to our planet is irreversible.

8. Heofon Light Maze by Ben Busche of Brut Deluxe, Cabot Square

Heofon is an old English word for the sky. This fascinating light maze is based on triangular geometry which reflects and shifts light rays along the entire colour range of a rainbow. On the outer perimeter the panels are covered with a mirror film converting the interior into an infinity room.

9. Colour Moves by Rombout Frieling Lab, Adams Plaza Bridge

Colour does not exist. Colour is in the mind. It is the result of complex processes of adjustment and comparison. Colour Moves is an immersive installation of pigments that react with specific wavelengths of light.

Oskar Krajewski

10. Recyclism by Oskar Krajewski /Art of OK, Crossrail Place, Level 0

Artist Oskar Krajewski is working towards a new chapter in art history – Recyclism. Recyclism is a platform for artists and like-minded people who care about our global environment. Oskar’s sculptures are made almost entirely of recycled materials such as unwanted toys, obsolete electronics, plastic packaging or any everyday use objects.

11. Aura by Ronan Devlin, North Dock, Adams Plaza

Aura creates a stunning spectacle on the water by combining art and technology. Camera sensors capture participant’s form and feelings and mirror them in real time onto a giant water spray in the dock.

12. We Could Meet by Martin Richman, Crossrail Place, Quayside Level -1

A permanent installation of more than 500 illuminated acrylic rods installed in a water channel, this engaging art work was commissioned by Canary Wharf Group in 2015.

13. Vena Lumen by Fontys Vena Lumen team, Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Level -1

Vena Lumen means pulsing light. Take a seat on this  bench, place your hand on the sensor and watch it transform your heartbeat into dancing light.

14. Enchanted Connections by Tine Bech Studio, Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Level 1

Enchanted Connections invites visitors to the Crossrail Place Roof Garden to interact with light and each other in an imaginative way.

Alexander Reichstein

15. Last Parade by Alexander Reichstein, Crossrail Place Quayside, Level -1

Last Parade is a site-specific video installation that creates a wildlife reserve filled with rare animals and birds, where the shadows of endangered and threatened species march perpetually along the Canary Wharf Riverside, slowly fading out as their march ends.

16. Lightbench by LBO Lichtbank, Canada Square Park

These firm favourites light up Canada Square Park every evening as part of the permanent collection. The benches subtly change colour and are lined up to create a pleasing spectacle along the pathway.

17. Submergence by Squidsoup, Montgomery Square

Submergence is a large, immersive, walkthrough light experience. This is the largest version ever shown, comprising of some 24,000 individual points of suspended light, that transforms the space into a hybrid environment where virtual and physical worlds coincide.

18. Light, Stone, Pavement by Raoul Simpson, Jubilee Park

Light, Stone, Pavement is a playful, contemporary take on the simple game of hopscotch, where the chalk lines are replaced by a glowing outline of electric luminescent ribbon triggered by the player’s progression through the game.

19. Flow by Squidsoup, Jubilee Park

Flow is a series of explorations using dynamically controlled points of light to visualise the flow of energy, data and objects. The piece is inspired by the myriad of cultural references to energy and flow patterns, from Aboriginal dreamtime paintings to Japanese wave and ripple designs.

Mürüde Mehmet

20. Floating Islands by Mürüde Mehmet, Jubilee Park

Community artist Mürüde Mehmet will be working with local children in Tower Hamlets to construct colourful organic floating forms made from recycled bottles. The creations will be displayed on the running water streams at Canary Wharf, encouraging awareness of how much waste is created by single use plastic water bottles.

21. Angels of Freedom by OGE Collective, Jubilee Place

These beautiful illuminated wings travel around the world, connecting people by allowing everyone to become an angel in their own way.

Behind many of the installations are serious intentions to raise awareness of environment and social issues. On cold  winter evening, a walk around the festival will brighten the spirits and with lots of food and drink options is a fun evening out.

Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival

 15th to 26th January 5-10 pm
Throughout Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
London
FREE

For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree

One important Christmas tradition in London since the Second World War has been the large Christmas tree that is placed within Trafalgar Square. Every year, since 1947, the people of Norway have given the people of London a Christmas tree. This gift is in gratitude for Britain’s support for Norway during World War II.

The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is generally a Norwegian spruce of around 20 metres high and 50-60 years old. It is selected from the forests surrounding Oslo with great care several months, even years, in advance.

The tree is felled in November during a ceremony in which the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo participate. It is brought to the UK by sea, then completes its journey by lorry.

The tree is decorated in traditional Norwegian fashion, with vertical strings of lights and a lighting ceremony takes place in early December with thousands of people attending.

Between the middle of December to just before Christmas, 40 carol singing groups gather beneath the famous Christmas tree to entertain visitors to Trafalgar Square.

The Christmas tree remains in Trafalgar Square until just before the Twelfth Night of Christmas, when it is taken down for recycling.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

The Royal Opera House Cinema Festival – 3 December 2018 to 6 January 2019

The Royal Opera House will launch its first ever Cinema Festival on Monday 3 December in the newly refurbished Linbury Theatre. Children can go free to all Saturday and Sunday cinema matinée performances and to The Nutcracker on 3 December. The Cinema Festival will feature 21 titles that celebrate the breadth of ballet and opera repertory shown in cinemas since the Royal Opera House’s first broadcast ten years ago.

Specially curated, free-for-children screenings include The Nutcracker live (3 December, 7.15pm), La Fille mal gardée (8 December, 2pm), The Magic Flute (9 December, 4pm), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (15 December, 2pm), Cendrillon (16 December, 4pm), both Anthony Dowell’s and Liam Scarlett’s versions of Swan Lake (22 December, 2pm, and 5 January, 2pm, respectively), The Winter’s Tale (23 December, 4pm) and Romeo and Juliet (29 December, 2pm). Richard Jones’s staging of La bohème (30 December, 4pm) and Giselle which brings the cinema festival to an end on 6 January at 4pm.

Further highlights include The Royal Ballet’s Sylvia (7 December, 7pm, featuring former Royal Ballet Principal Darcey Bussell and Guest Artist Roberto Bolle), John Copley’s acclaimed Royal Opera production of La bohème (8 December, 7pm, featuring Hibla Gerzmava and Teodor Ilincai), La traviata featuring soprano Renée Fleming and tenor Joseph Calleja (15 December, 7pm), Otello (21 December, 7pm, featuring German tenor Jonas Kaufmann) and Manon, featuring current Royal Ballet Principals Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov (28 December, 7pm).

Cinema festival audiences will be the first visitors to enjoy the brand new, state-of-the-art Linbury Theatre, which opens in January 2019.

Tickets cost £10-£17 for adults and are free for children aged 5 to 15 years old for The Nutcracker on 3 December and all Saturday and Sunday matinee performances. There is a maximum of two children with any one adult.

For more information and tickets , visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

The Museum of London Frost Fair from 19 November 2018 – 6 January 2019

The Museum of London will celebrate a unique London tradition that last took place over 200 years ago. The museum will become an immense frost fair as it begins a whole season of special events celebrating a traditional Christmas in the capital.

Between 1309 and 1814, the Thames would freeze on a regular basis; in that time at least seven frost fairs assembled on the ice. As the Thames froze, river traders and nearby businesses would take to the ice to sell their wares, creating a festival that would last until the ice thawed. Thames Watermen converted their boats into temporary stages and the frozen Thames played host to pubs, food stalls, coffee shops, souvenir stands and puppet shows. Printing presses produced souvenir publications and there were even rumours of an elephant being brought on to the frozen river near Blackfriars Bridge.

The water of the Thames was able to freeze as temperatures were much lower, but this was also due to the fact that the river flowed much more slowly than it does today. Since 1831, when the old London Bridge resting on nineteen solid piers was demolished and replaced with a new bridge with just five arches, the river has flowed too quickly to freeze. The Thames frost fair is a spectacle that will probably never happen again.

Visitors will create Christmas crafts and enjoy free performances of traditional festive tales, and the museum’s beloved Victorian Santa’s grotto will return, with children meeting Father Christmas and receiving a traditional toy, amidst a Victorian Street scene. The Museum of London frost fair runs from 19 November 2018 – 6 January 2019.

Museum of London Christmas Events

All events are free unless stated

Santa’s Victorian Grotto Dates: Sat 1–Sun 23 December 2018 Take a stroll through a twinkling Victorian Walk, transformed with festive decorations and the sound of carols, and discover Santa in his secret grotto. Tell Santa your Christmas wishes and receive a special gift. You can even have a photo taken to capture the moment. Book in advance, £10 (includes gift). Photographs available at additional cost.

The Thames frost fair Dates: Sat 1 & Sat 8 December 2018 at 1–1.30pm, 2–2.30pm & 3-3.30pm Imagine a winter so cold the Thames freezes over completely. It last happened over two hundred years ago during London’s final frost fair. Join us to create a frost fair scene that recaptures the magic of these special celebrations on the Thames.

Freezing frost fairs Dates: Sun 2 & Sun 9 December 2018 at 12.30–2pm & 2.30–4pm Join us for a Christmas craft session and create your very own frost fair scene that recaptures the magic of these special celebrations on the Thames.

Christmas Paper Crafts: a Frost Fair Workshop Dates: Sat 8 December 2018 from 1.30–4.30pm Get crafty for Christmas in this fun and festive workshop. Learn all the skills you need to make charming paper decorations and cards, inspired by the great frost fairs of Victorian London. You don’t need any experience, and all materials will be provided to create your beautiful crafts.

Season’s Greetings Dates: Sun 16 December 2018 from 12.30–2pm & 2.30–4pm Design a beautiful sparkly card to send to friends and family this festive season. Whether it’s a thank you card after the Festival of Lights, or a card in advance of Christmas, get creative and inspired by seasonal cards in our collection.

The Legend of Babushka Dates: Sat 15 & Sun 22 December 2018 from 1–1.30pm, 2–2.30pm & 3-3.30pm Take part in this interactive retelling of the traditional Russian story in which a little old lady heads off to see the baby Jesus. Along the way, she ends up giving away her gifts to people in need. After the story, discover different wrapping paper designs and create your own.

Cops & Robbers Dates: Thu 27 & Fri 28 December 2018 from 1–1.30pm, 2–2.30pm & 3-3.30pm Can you help a brave police officer catch the robbers of London town when they try to steal all the toys one Christmas Eve? Watch out for Granny Swagg and make sure she doesn’t get away in this fun re-imagining of Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s bestselling book, ‘Cops and Robbers’ with some traditional pantomime action!

Get Your Party Hats On! Dates: Sat 29–Mon 31 December 2018 from 12.30–2pm & 2.30–4pm Decorate a special hat and go hunting in the galleries for more at this art drop-in. From a worker’s cap or an office clerk’s bowler, to an aristocratic top hat, or the Queen’s crown, which hat will you choose to wear? Pick a hat from our silhouettes and decorate it with lots of glitter and festive sparkle to wear at your celebrations. Then try to spot them in the galleries!

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Review: Lord Mayor’s Show 2018 in the City of London – 10th November 2018

The Lord Mayor’s Show is one of the oldest and most important traditions of London, its origins go back to 1215 when King John was in trouble with his Barons looked to the City of London for support. In 1215 the King was persuaded to issue a Royal Charter that allowed the City of London to elect its own Mayor, but there was an important condition. Every year the newly elected Mayor must leave the safety of the City, travel upriver to the small town of Westminster and swear loyalty to the Crown. The Lord Mayor has now made the journey for 800 years, despite plagues and fires and countless wars, and pledged his (and her) loyalty to 34 kings and queens of England.

For the next few hundred years, Lord Mayor of London was by far the grandest position to which a commoner could aspire, and the Mayor’s journey was the celebrity spectacle of its day. Over the centuries it grew so splendid and so popular that by the 16th century it was known everywhere as the Lord Mayor’s Show. It features in the plays of Shakespeare, the diaries of Pepys  and in the pantomime story of Dick Whittington, who was the Mayor of London three times. In the 20th century the Lord Mayor’s Show was the first outside event ever to be broadcast live and it still attracts a TV audience of millions.

The modern Lord Mayor’s procession is a direct descendant of that first journey to Westminster. The state coach is 250 years old and the show features the City’s businesses, Livery Companies, charities, Her Majesty’s Forces, the City Police and Londoners from all walks of life come together to enjoy a celebration of the City’s ancient power and prosperity.

This is a procession unlike any other in the world: this year there were over 7000 participants, 20 bands, 200 horses, 150 floats and hundreds of other carriages, carts, coaches and other vehicles including vintage cars, steam buses, tanks, tractors, ambulances, fire engines, steamrollers, giant robots.

The procession sets off from Mansion House at 11am,  and was led off by the Band of HM Royal Marines (HMS Collingwood) .

Some of the highlights of the procession include:

Other Royal Marine units followed by The Bank of England’s float returns to the Lord Mayor’s show for the fourth year running.

Next came, Gog and Magog, the traditional guardians of the City of London. They first walked at the head of the Lord Mayor’s procession around five hundred years ago.

The Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, London focus on artificial intelligence and smart city technology look with two 5m-tall robots.

There were plenty of pandas in a China float.

The City officials bring up the rear of the procession with Late Lord Mayor, the Light Cavalry, and Pageantmaster

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Band struck up the music for the new Lord Mayor.

The new Lord Mayor is Peter Estlin who becomes the 691th Lord Mayor and rides in the procession within the magnificent State Coach.

The new Lord Mayor is followed by the Company of Pikemen & Musketeers which is a ceremonial unit of the Honourable Artillery Company who provide a ceremonial bodyguard for the Lord Mayor of the City.

The procession lasted for around an hour long and reached  the Royal Courts at around 12.30. The return leg left Temple Place at 1.10pm and the tail of the procession arrived back at Mansion House at 2.30.

This eclectic procession is one of the great free shows of the London year, although part of a long tradition, the emphasis is always about fun and spectacle.  With an inflatable bear and pig, marching bands, military personnel, horses, carriages, colourful floats and much more. The Lord Mayor’s Show is one parade that you are never sure what you are going to see next.  The warm weather bought out huge crowds estimated at around 500,000 who enjoyed the procession and the free family festival fun in Paternoster Square and Bloomberg Arcade.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

World Travel Market London at ExCel – 5th to 7th November 2018

World Travel Market London is one of the leading global events for the travel industry which generating more than £3 billion of business. Now in its 39th year, the event began at London Olympia in 1980, it moved to Earls Court in 1992 and ExCeL in 2002.

Over three days, the travel industry comes together as almost 5,000 exhibiting destinations from 182 countries and regions. A wide range of travel companies network with 51,000 travel professionals, key industry buyers, journalists, digital influencers, students and tourism ministers.

This event explores trends, issues and innovations in the travel industry and travel experts discuss some of the current travel issues.

The travel industry is undergoing considerable change and tourist boards, companies and destinations are looking more to the digital world to make their presence felt in a highly competitive market.

There will be a number of talks on a variety of subjects, although some of the main topics will be Brexit, responsible tourism and digital trends.

Too much tourism is another strong theme of this year’s event,  how do destinations with little infrastructure deal with massive increases of visitors ? This is becoming an increasing problem for a number of destinations.

The event is not open to the general public but is one of the major travel shows for travel professionals and those who work in the travel industry.

For more information , visit the Event website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 : A Space Odyssey IMAX screenings at the Science Museum – November 2018

Photo – Warner Bros

To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, The Science Museum will be presenting a series of IMAX 15/70mm screenings of Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey,”.  This will be the first time that the 70mm IMAX print of Kubrick’s groundbreaking 1968 epic is being screened in the UK.

Photo – Warner Bros

Widely considered to be one of the greatest films of the 20th century, “2001: A Space Odyssey” redefined the Science Fiction genre with its revolutionary special effects and intelligent screenplay which Kubrick co-wrote with legendary science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke.

Photo – Warner Bros

The film was originally released in the 70mm Cinerama roadshow format in 1968 and starred Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood. In keeping with the original 1968 release, all IMAX screenings will feature a brief interval. Visitors are also welcome and indeed encouraged to come to any screening in 1960s dress.

Photo – Warner Bros

The Science Museum engagement comes on the heels of the widely successful “unrestored” 70mm film release of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which was overseen by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, a lifelong admirer of Kubrick and who’s Dunkirk was recently screened at the Science Museum.

To get filmgoers in the mood for the film, they can visit the Science Museum’s Exploring Space Gallery which is home to a large and rich collection of space objects and memorabilia including rockets, satellites, probes and landers.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” runs at the Science Museum IMAX at varying dates and times from Thursday 1 November 2018.

Dates:

Thursday 1 Nov – 19.00
Saturday 3 Nov – 14.30 and 19.00
Wednesday 7th Nov 19.00
Saturday 10 Nov – 14.30 and 19.00
Wednesday 21 Nov – 19.00
Saturday 24 Nov – 14.30 and 19.00

Rating: The film is rated U but please note all under 12s must be accompanied by an adult

Running Time: The film is 2h 29 mins long plus interval

Costs: £14-£7, concs available

For more information and tickets, visit the Science Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here