This year, the annual ice sculpting contest at Canary Wharf took a well-earned breather. What we got instead was an array of light-based art installations and interactive bits and bobs.
This cube reacted to people waving their arms in front of it like lunatics. Well, it certainly reacted to ME waving my arms about like a lunatic – as did several passers-by.
Seeing as this was Canary Wharf, several of the installations involved putting lights in water. As a responsible adult, I was concerned at the prospect of a curious child getting electrocuted by a rogue water feature, but thankfully my fears were unfounded.
YOU GUYS THE BENCH KEPT CHANGING COLOUR. GUYS GUYS GUYS. LOOK AT IT.
According to the typically vague accompanying literature, these trees were fitted with flashy LEDs in order to mark the time. Like a big wooden clock that someone couldn’t be bothered to fully construct. Some of the trees lit up to denote seconds, others for minutes and hours. I couldn’t for the life of me work out which was which. It was however unnervingly hypnotic to look at.
What’s this? Oh, just some colour-changing fibre optic dresses floating around the park. As you were.
These luminous lily pads were even more bloody dangerous, as I saw people leaning over to nudge them across the water. I made the mistake of trying to touch an electric ring hob when I was younger, and Dad punished me by putting a frozen chicken on the hob and letting it squeal. That sound is all I hear when I look at this photo. The traumatic wail of the squealing, burning dead chicken. Ahem. Pretty, though.
A bridge that sprays fog at you as you cross, you say? And at night, the pink and blue LEDs turn the fog into unicorn farts? I am so there.
At completely the other end of Canary Wharf to every other installation, this massive book of fairy tales was set up close to where Ogilvy used to be. You should all know where that is. The book read itself out, in a creepy auto-tuned little girl voice that sounded like it was plotting to kill us all at “The End.”
Quite a few of these art pieces and winter festival events are on until the end of the month (it’s January ’15, folks), so if you get the chance I’d recommend having a look round. Be warned, it is damn freezing round there.