Winter lights at Canary Wharf using ‘ghost whales’ to stop plastic waste and save the oceans

PUBLISHED: 14:00 14 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:20 15 January 2019

Winter lights festival coming to Canary Wharf till January 26. Picture: CWG

Winter lights festival coming to Canary Wharf till January 26. Picture: CWG

CWG

The ‘winter lights’ festival returns to Canary Wharf tomorrow with 21 sculptures and installations from artists from across the world.

Sustainability and reducing plastic waste is this year's theme at Canary Wharf winter lights festival. Picture: Masha MaioranaSustainability and reducing plastic waste is this year's theme at Canary Wharf winter lights festival. Picture: Masha Maiorana

This year’s theme running until January 26 is sustainability, reflecting the campaign started by Canary Wharf Group last summer to end plastic ‘throwaway’ waste.

The 21 art pieces include a ‘whale ghost’, a 50ft silhouette showing the effect of humans on the earth’s biodiversity.

Another is floating Islands made of plastic bottles by East End schoolchildren painted in fluorescent colours show the waste created by plastic as the sculptures drift down streams in Jubilee Park.

“We want to move towards a more sustainable future,” Canary Wharf Group’s visual arts curator Keith Watson explained. “This pushes the debate about waste across all generations with these artworks.”

One light display shows the “limited time left to repair the plastic problem” before damage to the planet is “irreversible”.

Another “unleashes the inner child” in a game of hopscotch, with the pavement chalk replaced by glowing luminescent ribbon triggered by the player’s progression.

Water-valve technology is also used with illuminated droplets in the air forming words from a live media newsfeed.

The winter lights show runs nightly 5-10pm until January 26.

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