Sail-shaped lights to transform Canary Wharf with colourful spectacle

The sail shaped lights promise to transform Canary Wharf for six weeks beginning December 16

The sail shaped lights promise to transform Canary Wharf for six weeks beginning December 16 - Credit: Archant

A striking wind-powered display of colourful lights will transform Canary Wharf this winter as they sail through the area.

Beginning December 16, the lights, which consist of hundreds of light elements arranged to resemble a series of sails, will illuminate Middle Dock.

They are part of Canary Wharf’s award-winning public art programme which has commissioned ‘fLUMENS’.

The display will be coming to London for the very first time to create constantly changing light patterns to produce a beautiful, multi-coloured spectacle in the middle of the district’s iconic skyscrapers. They will be in the area until January 25 2014.

The lights have been created by Dutch artist Rombout Frieling and Openlight, the creative lab with which he works in Eindhoven.

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Looking back to Canary Wharf in the 19th Century, Frieling recognised its docks as the capital of international trade where goods arrived on sailing vessels using only the wind for power.

He said: “By placing ‘fLUMENS’ at Canary Wharf, we aim to revive this intrinsic connection that trading once had with nature, by revealing the eternal power of the wind, a force we may well need again.”

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Each ‘fLUMEN’ is entirely powered by the energy of the wind, activated by speeds of 10kph and upwards, and a range of different colours are generated according to the speed of the wind.

Each year, Canary Wharf Group’s public art team curates a Winter Lights installation as part of the year round programme of temporary and permanent visual arts.

Sally Williams, Public Art Consultant at Canary Wharf Group, said: “Rombout Frieling is inviting passers-by to appreciate the power of nature with the ‘fLUMENS’ installation. The visual impact and ever-changing colours of the installation will light up the area in a spectacular way and will remain in the dock during the festive period to brighten up those dark winter nights – it’s certainly a very different take on the usual Christmas lights!”

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