The city’s Christmas lights have been packed away for another year, but that hasn’t put an end to the trend for souped up light displays in London. Soon, the free Winter Lights at Canary Wharf Festival will be returning to the capital’s financial district, and will be switfly followed by a brand new glowfest for London: ‘Lightopia’. The festival has already appeared in Edinburgh and Manchester, and will be arriving at Chiswick House and Gardens for the London edition on January 22.
One thing we know for sure about Lightopia, it’s not about subtlety. The installations are big, brash and structural, with designs inspired by Chinese lantern making techniques. And it’s not just a passive stroll through a light trail either, many of the lights are designed to be stepped on, even played with. Visitors can interact with a 10m sculpture using a surrounding installation of 20 drums, or see a multicoloured peacock sculpture flap its feathers to a synchronised beat.
It all sounds very family friendly, a colourful wonderland that’s bound to impress little Londoners. All visitors, on arrival, will be given an illuminated badge that allows them to interact with the installations, and will henceforth be known as ‘Lightopians’. Adorable. If a little bit cult-y.