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Lumiere London - Festival of Light hits the capital Part Two

We returned to see the second half of the Lumiere London, this time up at Kings Cross. Sadly we were a little underwhelmed after such a great spectacle on Thursday we still saw some great sights.  
 First up the giant bird cage had been transformed into UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) by Jacques Rival. 
 Along the canal stood 'binaryWAVES' by LAB (au) which gave great reflections

'The Diver' by Ron Haselden light up the skyline over what I think must be the new outdoor lake / swimming pool in Kings Cross (though it's difficult to tell in the dark. 
Inside the relatively new Central St Martin's College was 'Litre of Light' which I'm afraid I was underwhelmed by but it was demonstrating those in the third world generating more light using water and bleach (if the person I over heard was correct). 

 There was another dress from Tae gon KIM which gave off a ghost like appearance before it changed colour again. 
 Amazing how they seemed to float and shimmer in the dark
Spectra-3 by FIELD-io spun in the shadows of Waitrose
 giving off some incredible shadows
 But the high light of the show was 'The Circus of Light' by Ucobo
 It was a fantastic riot of colour and crazy images

Sadly I can't convey the craziness of this but luckily I've worked out how to upload videos so you can see a brief glimpse of what I've seen: 
Part one 
Part two 
and Part Three. Hope you enjoy these small snapshots. We were lucky, we got to the event very early before the crowds turned up. And the crowds were huge! The event was later closed due to overcrowding. 

Oh and if you're interested below is a short video of the amazing 'Les Lumineoles' from Thursday 

I hope you enjoy! One day I might even work out how to edit video together but at least I now have  YouTube channel  so I can add more short videos in the future. 

Celebrating the Starman - David Bowie shrine grows

At the start of the week the world lost the incredible David Bowie. He was born and bred (well until six) in Brixton and the mural of Bowie outside the wonderful Morleys became a focus for people to gather and lay flowers. I wrote about Brixton on Monday, the day of his death which was a magical but surreal evening. 

Five days on and what has become a shrine to Bowie continues to grow. People are still coming to lay flowers and now write on the wall. Here are a few pictures I took on a cold and sunny Friday afternoon, after 4pm. I was surprised by how many people were there. 



Strangely as I was leaving someone asked me if these two were the same person. I was puzzled and said no they're two models. She said 'oh is that who has died?' - I then had to explain who David Bowie was. Very strange, despite such a huge outpouring of emotion over his death there are still people who have never even heard of him. 

Lumiere London - Festival of Light hits the capital Part One

January is a cold and dark month. Everyone is on a come down from Christmas so it can be quite depressing. After our visit to Christmas at Kew lights in the dark can be so  uplifting so we were very excited to learn that London was shutting some of it's streets and putting on a huge light show. OH and I downloaded our map and headed off into the night to experience the show that was in and around the West End.
 First up is 'Sanctuary' by Sarah Blood which was a range of bird boxes accompanied by a cacophony of bird song. Quite magical in the dark streets of London. 
Then over to Grosvenor Square which was alive with light featuring four installations. This is 'Lightbench' by Bernd Spieckler. It looked as if it should have been in a sci-fi movie. OH tried it out and said it was very cold to sit on thought that could have been the temperature as it was absolutely freezing 
 'Brothers and sisters' by Ron Haselden featured a figure who looked a little like me without my glasses but with my signature curly hair! 
Here is a close up
 Tucked away in a corner of Grosvenor Square was the most amazing sight of the night but sadly my photo is pretty poor as it was difficult to photograph, especially with the crowds.
 Here is a close up. It's 'Aquarium' by Benedetto Bufalino which does what it says on the tin though it's an aquarium in a phone box. I could have sat watching it for hours. 

 We then headed up to Regents Street which had been closed off for the nights. It's quite surreal walking down one of the busiest nights in London in the dark. And as we were early it wasn't too busy.
We luckily saw 'Keyframes' by Grouples LAPS / Thomas Veyssiere in action. To be honest we didn't realise it was a moving piece but I overheard someone saying it was 'starting in 5 minutes' so we settled down to watch a jaw dropping show of moving figures. 
 As well as movement there was also music which gave the show such dynamism and seemed to indicate a fugitive, acrobats, a game of tag and space invaders. It's very hard to describe but it was awesome and left me smiling as we walked onto the next installation. 
 The window of Libertys are always a joy and these were no exception. 'Dresses' by Tae gon KIM which appeared to hang in the night and subtly changed colour. 

 One of the highlights of the festival was meant to be this elephant stomping down Regent's Street. The noise was quite eerie as you could hear this elephant long before you could see it. However when it finally came into view I must admit it was a bit of a let down as we were expecting it to be much, much bigger.  
 The highlight of the evening for me was 'Les Lumineoles' by Porte par le Vent' which were giant kites gliding above the night sky on Piccadilly

Here you can see it being worked from the ground. 
 '195 Piccadilly' by NOVAK
 Leicester Square was turned into a 'Garden of Light' by TILT. We were spoilt by the garden at Christmas at Kew which made this a bit of a let down. 
After a pit stop for a bit to eat and a chance to warm up we headed down to Trafalgar Square for 'Plastic Islands' by Luzinterruptus which I'm afraid was a let down following on from 'Les Lumineoles'
And we ended up outside Coutts (the Bank) on the Strand to see 'Neon Dogs' by Deepa Mann-Kier

By the end of the evening we were frozen to the bone but it was a great evening. We will be walking part two this weekend which is over in Kings Cross so will post more soon. 

Little Wonder: Brixton comes out to celebrate the life of local boy David Bowie

Yesterday the world woke up to the news that David Bowie had died following a long battle against cancer. Lemmy had only died a couple of weeks ago (lead singer of Motorhead if you didn't know) and so the world has lost two music icons.

Bowie was a Brixton born lad and so it was fitting that Brixton pulled out all the stops to morn one of it's own. Brixton Buzz was running a Bowie evening in the Prince Albert which I knew would be rammed even before it was advertised in the Evening Standard. Meanwhile there was an unofficial gathering in Windrush Square where fans gathered.

I must admit it was a strange affair. There were crowds of people milling around, some gathering around someone with a guitar or a ghetto-blaster, with others (like me) watching and taking photos.
People turned up in their droves and whilst it was a peaceful affair it was very surreal.
The crowd was very jumpy after someone let off a rocket in Windrush Square which went off with a huge bang and cloud of smoke. Luckily I'd seen them walk past with said rocket to set it off so wasn't too shocked.

I'm a bit rubbish at night time shots but you get the idea!

Although there was an unofficial shrine outside Morleys (see below) a small shrine appeared close to the cinema.
The crowds back to the High Street and down Coldharbour Lane were huge


So after a bit I decided to check out the unofficial shrine outside Morley's where there has been a mural of Bowie by Australian street artist Jason Cochran.
The crowds here were huge too, and news crews were reporting from the scene.


Everyone was taking photos
And the mountain of flowers grew and grew.


Above is the mural this morning on the way to work, people were still adding to the flower mountain. 
With crowds still stopping by and even the news crews were still about. Guy in the top left was waiting to do a piece to camera.

So yesterday was a strange day and I witnessed something surreal and magical at the same time. Rest in Peace  Bowie you Little Wonder you.