Featuring a series of artworks by contemporary artists, the installations use light, colour and mixed media to create an immersive atmosphere which, in the words of the exhibition curator, Cedar Lewisohn, 'can improve people's wellbeing in the winter months'.
This year five new works will sit alongside pieces which have proved immensely popular in past editions of this festival, like David Ogle's Loomin (pictured top), which turns the riverside into an avenue of light.
Among the new works this year is Winter Windows, an inventive installation created by local children from the Oasis Academy Johanna in collaboration with the architects Squire & Partners. This work illuminates the windows of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Winter Windows 2023, Squire & Partners 2023. Photo: © Squire & Partners
Quite different, but also new to London, is Marinella Senatore's light sculpture We Rise by Lifting Others, a massive work inspired by the southern Italian tradition of illuminated decorations. Senatore says that working with light can be a tool for narration and poetic creation. You can see this work on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Riverside Terrace; below is an image of Senatore's piece on show at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence.
Marinella Senatore, We Rise By Lifting Others. Photo: © courtesy of the artist and Palazzo Strozzi Foundation
Leo Villareal's hypnotic Cosmic Bloom sees 1,300 intricate digital artworks projected onto the walls of The Royal Festival Hall. This, the second work in Villareal's Cosmologies series, is inspired by organic and biological structures, stellar phenomena and atomic patterns. It's accompanied by tracks from electronic music artist Kode9.
Leo Villareal, Cosmic Bloom © Leo Villareal
Some of last year's most popular works return, among them Danish light artist and designer Jakob Kvist's Dichroid Sphere.
Located on the Riverside Terrace, this is a good example of user-friendly science in action: lit by a single energy-efficient lightbulb, the Sphere is an aluminium geodesic dome attached with acrylic sheets and dichroid film. Dichroid refers to any optical device that can split a beam of light in two, and means that the Sphere changes colour depending on what angle the light comes from.
Jakob Kvist, Dichroid Sphere. Photo: Christoffer Askman
The Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery again see their façades transformed into a chromatic clock, with the return of David Batchelor's Sixty Minute Spectrum. Beginning each hour as a vivid red, the pyramid rooflights move gradually through the entire spectrum.
These are just some of the works providing the riot of light and colour that animates the Southbank this festive season. For the full immersive experience you must go there in person and, of course, take the children!
Full details of the Southbank Winter Festival here.
|What||Winter Light 2023, Southbank Centre|
|Where||Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
13 Nov 23 – 07 Jan 24, Lights on at 16:00