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Following on from the first three posts this looks at some of the other Lumiere London 2018 installations that were missed out on the first evening at the South Bank. Certainly other blogs and tweets suggest the South Bank wasn’t very well served in terms of identifying which were the actual installations plus others have said the staff didn’t seem very knowledgeable. Walking from Westminster Bridge past the London Eye and Waterloo Bridge to The Wave, I saw not one single member of Lumiere staff who could have guided us towards the other installations which were not evident from the Queen’s Walk. The mapping didn’t pinpoint the works accurately either.
The Waterloo installations were obscure, as reports tell us, few could find them, there was little sign of activity at these when I finally found them. One of the ways of navigating Lumiere (or any other festival of this sort) is streams of people heading in one direction or away from an installation is usually enough to tell one the direction towards an installation.
This wasn’t evident here at Waterloo (the same can be said for Mount Street/Berkeley Square Westminster/Victoria and Fitzrovia.) In retrospect I think it would have been better to concentrate the works along the riverside corridor (and leave the Waterloo element out) hence better use of festival staff could have been made. Perhaps more thought needs to go into creating ‘corridors’ (whilst avoiding pinch points!) where signs and staff can be used better?
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OSC-L and Footfalls for Rambert viewed from Waterloo Bridge
Coming straight from Waterloo Station tonight meant I found these three installations almost immediately. They’re not obvious from the riverside and there was no staff on the earlier visit (and tonight) on the Queen’s Walk to indicate these either. As I found, there were staff on Waterloo Bridge but not in a position to be clearly obvious from the Queen’s Walk.
The installations around the southern end of Waterloo Bridge are OSC-L, (at the rear of the National Theatre,) the second on the Rambert building called Light on their feet: Footfalls for Rambert. The third on the Hayward Gallery’s roof was Sixty Minute Spectrum.
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OSC-L close-up with the London Eye – and Sixty Minute Spectrum just visible on the Hayward roof
I appreciate the work that must have gone into these three installations, however their placement left little to be desired. Even Sixty Minute Spectrum was sort of pointless as the entire installation was on top of a flat roof, meaning probably just a sixteenth of it was visible.
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The Leake Street tunnel (Ruby, Santiago and Adam: Grey Matters) was interesting however the context may have been lost slightly because there’s so much other competing graffiti artwork. I did understand the connotation in presenting Grey Matters a guerilla work of art.
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Grey Matters Leake Street Tunnel
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Grey Matters Leake Street Tunnel
The return to Oxford Circus for the ‘switch off’ was by way of Green Park, Berkeley Square, Mount Street Gardens, South Molton Street, just to see how visitor numbers were faring. Illumaphonium had gone. Observers on the first night said it was the wrong location (eg Diamond Geezer’s blog) for it was very noisy and within a residential area. Presumably the locals complained thus forcing its move to Grosvenor Square.
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Vacant space left by the Illumaphonium which was moved to Grosvenor Square
Upon arrival at Oxford Circus the combination of a blue number 10 bus (one of the two routes permitted to operate through the enforced pedestrian zone) plus a blue Origin of the World Bubble 2018 was a great opportunity for photography – if only some of the temporary street paraphernalia that stood in the way was removed! Some of us had to make do with the best of the circumstances and here are my pictures for all they’re worth!
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Blue No 10 bus/Origin of the World 2018 Bubble! If only the street clutter & white van were not there….
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Blue No 10 bus turns into Holles Street – Origin of the World 2018 Bubble stays blue too!
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The final moment! The four projectors are switched off one by one. Half the Bubble’s deactivated
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All lights out! Lumiere London 2018 ends
In retrospect, the crowds this year were considrably less. I had that impression the first two nights and that stayed with me the other two nights. Even Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, which were exceedingly popular in 2016, didn’t have the same attendance this year. The same went for Westminster Abbey too. King’s Cross was probably the one location to maintain visitor levels approaching those in 2016.
Will Lumiere be back in 2019? Who knows. Somehow it seems it’ll be an event that occurs every other year. I don’t think London has it to sustain the event annually. It is said 1.3 million attended the 2016 event and that brought an extra £6.3 million to London at a time when total business earnings are considerably down. My guess is this year’s figures are somewhat down.
Again the need to spread wider the exhibits and have not quite so mega installations in order to avoid the huge overcrowdings of 2016 seems to have had the opposite effect. Yes 2018’s crowd levels were more manageable, however Fitzrovia/South Bank/Westminster/Victoria/Waterloo were quite thin in terms of numbers attending, and as I have repeated a few times within these four posts, attendances across the overall festival appear to be down.
These events do take a lot of work, much goes on behind the scenes, yet so little’s written about this. Here’s a feature about one of the dozens of technicians responsible for Lumiere London.
Here’s the official press release with considerably full details about the festival.