Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020

Martyn White

Posted on January 29 2020

Canary Wharf returns for another instalment of its popular Winter Lights festival, transforming the destination with a series of mesmerising light installations.

Winter Lights returns to Canary Wharf for its sixth edition during January, transforming the dark evenings and surroundings of London's iconic district into a spectacle of colour and movement for visitors and locals to enjoy. Over twenty-six impressive light installations, immersive art and sculptural pieces made up this year's festival, proving to be the most popular yet with thousands of visitors descending into Canary Wharf every day to witness the spectacle. See below some of the installations from the 2020 edition. 

Neon Tree: Hawthorn Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020Stratum: Studio Chevalvert Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020

Neon Tree: Hawthorn

Mesmerising passers-by with striking colourful neon formations that twist and turn around an individual tree in the heart of Canada Square Park. 

Stratum: Studio Chevalvert 

Stratum is an interactive installation that is made up of 92 illuminated metal totems. Visitors are invited to move their hand over the sensor to trigger movement in the artwork. Sections of the installation represent different environments and elements, each with their own sound design – explore a cave, the ground, rain, lightning and the stratosphere.

Mountain of Light: Angus Muir Design Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020Shish-ka-Buoy: Angus Muir Design Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020

Mountain of Light: Angus Muir Design

Mountain of Light is a monolithic installation that reaches a height of four meters. It is brought to life by a series of lighting effects that begin with subtle changes in shade and culminate in an intense amalgamation of colours. The installation can be controlled by participants, allowing them to create beautiful visual effects that spread around the mountain.

Shish-ka-Buoy: Angus Muir Design

The installation takes on different forms throughout the light of the day and into the night. During daylight hours, the large six-metre tall buoys absorb the light and give off a magical glow. By night, thousands of internal LEDs creating an ever-changing gradient of colours that emit into the surroundings with dramatic effect. 

Ditto: Ithaca Studio Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020The Clew: Ottotto Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020

Ditto: Ithaca Studio

An immersive light installation that allows visitors to experience swirls of colour and sound overhead and underfoot. The structure of light columns that tower above the participant gives the impression of infinite light as it trails off into the distance, creating beautiful reflections and colours in both daytime and evening.

The Clew: Ottotto

Encircling Cubitt Steps, The Clew, created by Ottotto, consists of one hundred circles of red light that allows visitors to walk through to view at different angles. As the sun sets, the light creates fascinating reflections in the waters below, allowing for impressive photography captures. 

Constellations: Joanie Lemercier Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020Desire: Uxu Studio  Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020

Constellations: Joanie Lemercier

Joanie Lemercier’s Constellations takes us on a trip through space with visuals projected onto a giant water-screen. The show is designed as a gateway for exploration of the cosmos. The 3D-like projections transport viewers from the heart of a black hole into deep space, through planets and stars.

Desire: Uxu Studio 

A playful installation that transforms when viewed at different angles. From one side the lights form to create a giant pair of red lips while from another angle, the lips evolve into the shape of a heart, the lights pulsating to represent its beat. The 1,500 red lamps represent the thousand of nerve endings in the human lips and the signals that they sent to the brain when activated. 

Absorbed by Light: Gali May Lucas  Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020Lactolight: Lactolight  Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020

Absorbed by Light: Gali May Lucas 

Visitors are invited to take a seat in between the three figures absorbed by the lights of their phones, designed by the British Gali May Lucas and executed by Berlin-based sculptor Karoline Hinz. Although their bodies are physically present, their minds are elsewhere as they exhibit the standard traits of smartphone users; heads bent, fingers typing and swiping, their faces lit up by their phone screens.

Lactolight: Lactolight 

7,344 recycled plastic milk cartons create individual pixels in a giant low-res video screen. Programmed light depicting colours and patterns combined with a custom-built soundscape gives visitors a sensory experience, creates to highlight the use of single-use plastic in our everyday lives. 

Affinity: Amigo & Amigo and S1T2 Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020Luma Paint Light Graffiti: Lichtfaktor and Bomber Graffiti Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2020

Affinity: Amigo & Amigo and S1T2

Designed as an immersive, interactive light sculpture inspired by the dazzling complexity and connectivity of the human brain. Each visitor creates their own unique sensory experience as they step inside an intricate web of 120 interconnected globes representing neurons and memories in the brain. As each globe is activated, colourful light streams flow outwards into the sculpture and link to another globe. A pulsing light passes between the two points; the longer the link is held, the brighter the pulse.

Luma Paint Light Graffiti: Lichtfaktor and Bomber Graffiti

Using real-time Light Painting Software invented by Lichtfaktor, the projections transform surfaces into a living paint canvas for visitors to create their own paintings and graffiti in a matter of seconds.

For its sixth edition, the Canary Wharf Winter Lights attracted a record number of visitors to experience the installations, showcasing the works of local and international artists and designers. For the full list of works and further information on the light festival, click to view the official Canary Wharf events section via the link. 

Photography courtesy of Canary Wharf Group


Thank you for reading. If you liked this post, here are a few more recommendations relating to art and installations.

Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2019Emmanuelle Moureaux Slices of Time

Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2019 / Emmanuelle Moureaux: Slices of Time

More Posts


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

Search our store