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Illuminated River artwork for Waterloo Bridge © Leo Villareal Studio
Illuminated River artwork for Waterloo Bridge © Leo Villareal Studio

Go lose yourself in Waterloo Bridge’s brand-new light installation

It’s about to get lit (‘lit’ means illuminated, but it's also young person talk for ‘very good’)

Written by
Eddy Frankel

The Thames has inspired countless artists. Monet captured it shrouded in fog, Whistler painted it in the dead of night, and it has been a leading character in endless books and movies. It might be full of effluent and awful party barges, but Old Father Thames is a special river. 

And over the past few years, artist Leo Villareal (in collaboration with architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands) has been transforming its bridges with mesmerising light installations as part of the ‘Illuminated River’ project. He’s already given London Bridge, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium bridges the flashy flashy treatment, and now he’s finally doing the iconic Waterloo Bridge. Works will be completed in early 2021, and then he’ll move on to Lambeth Bridge, Westminster Bridge and all the rest. By the time it’s completed, it will be the longest public artwork in the world.

But what’s it all about? According to the organisers, ‘in “Illuminated River”, Villareal addresses the bridges along the Thames like jewels on a single thread: as singular objects to be celebrated for their individual character, and as part of a grand sequence.’ Very illuminating. 

Find out more about ‘Illuminated River’ here.

Want more outdoor art? Check out The Line right here.

Like lights? Christmas lights have started to shine in central London

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