Winter DeLights

Illuminated Fountain

Dancing to music

Part of last year’s Winter of Lights was a trip to Canary Wharf to see their illuminated art display. Heather and I enjoyed that, so we went back for the 2019 version as a sort of birthday treat.

Angel Heather

Showing her wings

Emerging from the DLR station we headed past the dripping words of Bit.Fall, with a distant building illuminated by Two Hearts. we walked around to the tube station where we were confronted with the colourful, spinning colours of Prismatica. These tall translucent prisms spun around, a changing burst of colour in front of the eyes. Behind the tube station in the park floated plastic bottles recycled into colourful creatures and shapes, as part of a project with Tower Hamlets Schools. Most impressive were the lily pads and gloriously psychedelic snail and turtle.

Downstairs in the subterranean mall stood the first of a number of angels scattered around the site, a pair of wings spread out with a halo hanging above, waiting for the selfie crowds. Of course Heather had to have a photo taken. Back upstairs at the far side of the park a field of light strings hung down, waiting to be wandered through. We entered and waited around a while but they didn’t actually seem to be doing much. Bored we left them, at which point they started changing and making patterns—typical.


Flow i na myriad of colours


Staring out from the maze

Returning to the park a relaxing and pretty display of changing lights draped down a hill. These swirling changes flowed in mesmerising patterns as we watched. From there we were going to head across to the crossrail site, but first headed back into the malls to answer a call of nature. That led us on what felt like a ten mile hike through the underground so that we’d gone so far we actually decided to just emerge rather than walk back. Outside we got the chance to get lost in a maze of light (once we’d queued up for the chance). Emerging we walked up to Cabot Square where we found the fountain dancing to music.

Having watched the musical fountain we wandered down the road, turning off to find a scattering of more Prismatica along with the slightly disappointing Time and Tide by Paul & Pute, and a slightly more entertaining Blue Neuron looking like a little light snake shooting through the dark tree branches.

At the bottom of the road was something much more striking—a circus full of colourful trees. We wandered right round the sparkling, daringly artificial trees, marvelling at how they enlivened the night with their twinkly brilliance.



We had quite the hike back up the road through the cold night, so were grateful to find ourselves crossing the bridge towards the warmth of Crossrail Place. The bridge itself was resplendent with the disturbing, changing Colour Moves, which did little but hurt my eyes.

Over the bridge we headed up to the impressive roof garden, where there were a couple of less impressive installations. An oversized stripey bench invited a long queue of sitters, while at the far end a few colour changing lamps at least made the planting look pretty.

Elephant Parade

Passing through the night

Back downstairs and into the cold there was another angel before walking along the water found a parade of the world’s endangered species strolling down the water side, until their images and reflections faded from view—the allegory obvious and poignant.


Floating magically in the spray

Along the dockside from the animals, past the huge queue to see Recyclism, glimpses of which weren’t enough to entice us to await our chance of a closer look, the remarkable Aura by Ronan Devlin. In a mist of spray a shifting pattern indeed reminiscent of the northern lights flittered and changed until it suddenly would reveal a face suspended in the water droplets. Entranced we watched the compelling show for some time before we felt able to move off.

We had thought we were done at that point, but realised we’d actually missed an installation in our earlier wanderings. So it was back through the underground mall (the shops mainly closed by now) and past the dancing fountain to the compelling and moving Whale Ghost. Gently moving lights hung in the air, forming the ghostly bones of a whale. We listened to its mournful song, by the water, before finally heading home.

Many more photos

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