Lumiere London 2016 - Two of our Favourite Exhibits

This weekend, the capital has been taken over with Artichoke’s well-known Lumiere Festival, following the huge success of Lumiere Durham. There are over 30 individual exhibits around Piccadilly, Kings Cross, Trafalgar Square, Mayfair and Westminster, and from these, we have chosen two of our favourites - 'Joining the Dots' by Cleary Connolly and 'Aquarium' by Benedetto Bufalino.

The first of our favourites, based in Grosvenor Square, is 'Aquarium' by Benedetto Bufalino & Benoit Deseille. In this playful installation the French artists have taken one of London’s most iconic objects, the classic red telephone box and transformed it into a real aquarium. The concept behind the pair’s project was a response to the ever changing modes of communication. The use of the iconic red telephone box is there to question the redundancy of old structures, whilst the colourful fish within the installation give the audience a chance to momentarily escape the stress of their daily lives in the exotic environment of the seascape. 

Many thanks to Lindsay Allen-Hynd for translation.


Joining the Dots is in an installation by Cleary Connolly. For this video installation, Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly were inspired by psychophysicist Gunnar Johansson to add human elements to the plain facade of the gymnasium.

We found this to be one of the most intriguing. Johnasson delved in theories of the mind and how they can perceive the human body in motion based on minimal stimuli. In the 1970s Johansson experimented using people as his subjects dressed in black in a dark room with lamps on their joints which created 'dots'. He found that there were 13 moving points on their bodies that could be recognised- including the head, elbows, shoulders, hips wrist and ankles. When the dots were still, the patterns were abstract, but when they moved they could be perceived clearly. From this the subjects actions, gender and physicality could be also recognised.

Cleary Connolly have used his psychological research and have projected similar figures onto the German Gymnasium in King’s Cross using local schoolchildren as models. 

There are plenty more installations to be seen around London. The free event is the biggest festival of its kind and is running every evening until 17th January. So if you haven't been go and check them out as they are a lot of fun and some are interactive. You can download the map here