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Blog: Winter Lights, The Wembley Years

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Last week myself and The Bulb In My Lamp went to London's fashionable Canary Wharf district of London to see yet more ART.

The ART we was going to look at was the annual Canary Wharf Winter Lights festival, where they put up light-based artworks all around the ESTATE like one of those Art Walking Tours that you get but at NIGHT. It is usually dead good and so we have gone MANY times over the years, and this time it was similarly ACE but also SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT.

The difference was like going to see a BAND who you used to watch in a tiny pub years ago, but who have now gone on to be HUGELY POPULAR and are playing in MEGADOMES. When we first went to see The Winter Lights there was hardly anybody else about and no directions, so part of the fun was trekking around with the map trying to find them. This time there were THOUSANDS of people following a very clearly defined ROUTE, with big signs everywhere telling you where to go next and security staff telling you when, and when not, to cross the road on the way. To be perfectly honest, I really LIKE the ORIENTEERING bit and felt like it had lost a bit of FUN being so hugely organised like this, but even a KING OF INDIE like me had to admit that it did mean you could actually FIND everything.

Also, the artworks in the past have sometimes been a bit VARIABLE. One of my constant notes of complaint in previous years has been that some of them were PIDDLY and better suited to a small gallery than standing out in the night, but this time around the exhibits were VAST and worked extremely well with crowds of people milling about GAZING upon them. The ones that were still Not So Big had been put inside in the Crossrail Place Rooftop Garden, so that all worked pretty well too.

SIDEBAR: isn't it nice that the Crossrail Place is called CROSSRAIL Place? It's like one of those ancient signs that refer to a long-lost river, or a bus stop named after a pub that isn't there any more. In the space year 2124 I expect TOUR GUIDES to be explaining to FLOATING BRANE CHILDREN that it's named after the working title for the Elizabeth Line. They will probably then ask what THAT is, and have a lengthy lecture about what it was like before everyone ASCENDED TO A HIGHER PLANE, MAN.

Anyway, putting my MANICS FAN quibbles about the growth of the festival aside it was a lovely evening out, and the EFFICIENCY of the whole thing meant we raced around without getting COLD. It also must still have been PRETTY GROOVY because a) we were there and b) so was Internet Pioneer Dave Green, who it was delightful to see on the way round. We even got to go to MALLOW for our tea afterwards, it was GRATE!

posted 26/1/2024 by MJ Hibbett

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