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Lumiere light show display back by popular demand

Event wants to transform London into 'giant art exhibition without walls'

21 July, 2017 — By The Xtra Diary

One of the exhibits from the 2016 event 

IN 2016, wonderful installations went up around the streets of the West End for Lumiere London. Glowing fish floated above Regent Street, a luminous garden of larger-than-life flowers was planted in Leicester Square and light-up stick men danced across buildings in the heart of the capital.

It ranged from the spectacular to the downright weird.

The post-Christmas blues were washed away in a flood of light and with it came millions of people craning their heads to catch a glimpse. In fact it proved so popular, that at some exhibits had to be switched off as the crowds grew and grew.

Last January, the West End stayed dark. But this week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that the festival is making a comeback.

This time the event, which will take place from January 18-21, will spread to other boroughs and go south of the river. Works will be exhibited across the West End, but Covent Garden, Victoria, South Bank and Waterloo will also be involved – it’s a way to let more people see the light, organisers say, but also, based on last time around, it seems this is probably a bid to spread the crowds a little.

Mayor Khan said: “Lumiere London 2018 will be bigger, brighter and bolder than ever before – with even more areas of our city involved and even more people expected to visit this incredible festival.”

Helen Marriage, chief executive of Artichoke, commissioned to create Lumiere London, said she looked forward to turning the capital into a “giant art exhibition without walls”.

“Lumiere London offers a fantastic platform for UK and international artists to reach the widest possible audiences and there are no financial barriers to attendance,” she said. “Everyone is invited.”

Nobody yet knows what the event will bring. Glowing artichokes in Oxford Street? Luminescent llamas in Leicester Square? Only time will tell.

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