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Lumiere London in 2016 was blessed by largely dry, but very cold, weather. The reason I mentioned that in the first post is because weather forecasts at the start of this week (15th January) had predicted a dry early start to the four days of the 2018 festival with rain for the second half.
At the time of writing this introduction (14.00 Saturday 20th January) its raining. However the forecast is now predicting both today/tomorrow will be rainy in the day but clearing later to give a cold, cloudy evening. Currently (15.30pm) there’s quite a few tweets hoping the rain will stop in time for tonight’s session. Let’s hope that is the case! In any event the whole evening proved to be entirely dry and quite cold, the perfect conditions for this kind of festival.
Tonight (Saturday 20th) its one bit of Mayfair that I missed out plus the centre piece at Oxford Circus within the West End area of Lumiere 2018. Then on to Fitzrovia. The West End is said to have the most numerous exhibits –  fifteen in all  – although I wouldn’t seriously consider exhibits such as Shadia Walking and Plug and Bulbs part of Lumiere for these have been part of the Carnaby Street scene for several years. Additionally Lightbenches were originally commissioned for the Durham light festival in 2015 and a number have permanent residency at Canary Wharf hence these have been left out too.
IMG 0890 - Lumiere London 2018 #3Impulse is at South Molton Street, an exclusive shopping street between Oxford Street and New Bond Street. This consists of eight see-saws which light up when they are used. A favourite among the kids but adults loved it too.
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Impulse South Molton Street
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Origin of the World 2018 Oxford Circus
At Lumiere 2016 Janet Echelman’s 1.8 floated above the famous Oxford Circus crossroads, in 2018 again the location is one of the event’s centre pieces – Origin of the World Bubble 2018. This was tested two weeks before the festival began – alas strong winds caused chaos and traffic jams as the installation was blown down unexpectedly. The Standard covered this incident.
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Above & below: People doing their Atlas bit with Origin of the World 2018
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Fitzrovia had just four exhibits – or was it three? It was about that tonight. Although lit up, A-BIT IMMERSIVE didn’t seem to be working, the booth where participants interacted with the artwork was cordoned off.
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Droplets in the brand new Fitzroy Square. Unknown to many the square was once part of the Middlesex Hospital complex. This was demolished 2002-2005 leaving just the Fitzrovia Chapel. It once stood in the heart of the Middlesex hospital grounds, thus forms the centrepiece of the new square.
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Droplets in the new Fitzroy Square
Control No Control happens to be one of my favourite exhibits. It was interactive, fully visual and every one was enjoying it.
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Control No Control in Tottenham Street
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Control No Control, Whitfield Gardens, Tottenham Court Road
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Young kid lights up the Control No Control board!
Next is Cosmoscope. The other installtion, A BIT-IMMERSIVE overlooks Cosmoscope, and as I mentioned earlier, the former was not in full working order.
IMG 0994 - Lumiere London 2018 #3Above & below: Cosmoscope in Store Street
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Here’s an extra bonus – an interview with the creators of Cosmoscope.
From here it was on to Victoria, namely Westminster Cathedral, for The Rose. I loved this! Its a simple concept. People sit on bikes and pedal as hard as they can, powering the huge Rose installation. The harder they pedal the more of The Rose lights up. There’s a meter at one side to show how much energy output is being created to keep the installation lit up.
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The Rose, Westminster Cathedral
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Powered by humans! The Rose, Westminster Cathedral
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Pedalling away to keep The Rose brightly lit!
Westminster City Hall is covered up but that provided an opportunity for another installation being Asalto London, showing local residents climbing up the sides of the building. Its a nice idea and works well. The concept was originally envisaged for Durham back in 2016 and entitled Asalto Durham.
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Asalto London, Westminster City Hall, Victoria Street