Summer Lights

At Christmas we went to Canary Wharf to see their Christmas Lights which we really liked, we now they have another exhibition, this time of Summer Lights. So we had to go have a look.

The Summer Lights Exhibition is a collection of installations in pretty much the same locations as the Christmas versions and at times similar to their wintery cousins, but this time they are dependant upon the Great British Summer’s sun. So in other words, it doesn’t work. We visited on a Tuesday afternoon in the first week of Wimbledon, so of course it poured down with rain and the sky was grey and the sun was hidden all day.

But we still went around anyway.

First off we found a perspex cylindrical structure that you walked around and from the inside it gave a coloured view of the Thames, but mostly views of the office blocks and the road. It’s a nice idea, it just needs a better location and of course sunshine.

Next up was a rainbow of more perspex sheets, arranged around the Cabot Square Fountain, this made for a better show, walking around the outside of the fountain watching the colour gradually shift from red, through, orange, yellow, greens, to blues and finally purples was subtle and gradual and visually pleasing. Im sure when the sun would be out it would give the water a beautiful tint.

Next was a collection of mirrored balls, not an amazing exhibit and nothing new, at first it looks like a selection of convex mirrors to allow traffic to see round sharp bends so very easy to miss.

Then it was a walk out of the Square towards Middle Dock to the water toward a series of motifs painted on the floor, a sign of ‘Proud Together’ and finally at the water’s side a perspex flower, which in brilliant sunlight would cover the floor in multihued lights, but on this grey day is just hung there looking lost, but still pretty to look up at.

A walk to the DLR station and then up and over the top, we found ourselves in the secret garden, this isn’t part of the exhibition it seems. Even though it is clearly marked on the map. We wandered around the tropical garden, hearing a chorus of bird chirps and seeing many brightly coloured flowers and greenery, before heading back towards Canary Wharf tube station and the Jubilee Park where another failed exhibit awaited us.

The series of reflective discs in the water feature in the park would be cool in the sunlight, but in the grey, they just looked like old laser discs, that someone hung to ward off birds!

Likewise the plastic over the windows of the Jubilee place building were totally lacklustre and not worth the time we didn’t even realize it was part of the whole thing.

So we wandered on to the furthest exhibits and a giant 3D perspex butterfly, which was pretty even without the sunshine.

Then a kind of half finished wooden shell, with some holes drilled through it, this may be impressive with light shining through it and could potentially be a great photo op, but we remain unsure as it does look unfinished and in rain it doesn’t stop water.

We walked all the way back to the Westferry Circus and yet another selection of perspex sheets stood beside the Thames, again it was colourful it ordinary and a bit of a let down.

The final piece was a strange vertical structure with bits of concrete between pieces of wood and in the concrete there were small pieces of glass, which we don’t think would cast a lot of colour about even in the brightest of days. It was suppose to represent the ocean but I guess art is what you make of it.

Overall it wasn’t as impressive as the Christmas exhibition even if it were a glorious sunny day, so we would say only go if you are in the area and if it is a lovely sunny day.

Then again there are plenty more scenic things to do on a sunny day if there every is one ever again.


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