London lights up

Visitors can walk around the Garden Of Light (above) by French art collective Tilt in Leicester Square. IFO (above) by French artist Jacques Rival. Litre Of Light by British artist Mick Stephenson. American artist Janet Echelman's 1.8 installation ho
Visitors can walk around the Garden Of Light (above) by French art collective Tilt in Leicester Square. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Visitors can walk around the Garden Of Light (above) by French art collective Tilt in Leicester Square. IFO (above) by French artist Jacques Rival. Litre Of Light by British artist Mick Stephenson. American artist Janet Echelman's 1.8 installation ho
IFO (above) by French artist Jacques Rival. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Visitors can walk around the Garden Of Light (above) by French art collective Tilt in Leicester Square. IFO (above) by French artist Jacques Rival. Litre Of Light by British artist Mick Stephenson. American artist Janet Echelman's 1.8 installation ho
American artist Janet Echelman's 1.8 installation hovers above Oxford Circus. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Visitors can walk around the Garden Of Light (above) by French art collective Tilt in Leicester Square. IFO (above) by French artist Jacques Rival. Litre Of Light by British artist Mick Stephenson. American artist Janet Echelman's 1.8 installation ho
Litre Of Light by British artist Mick Stephenson. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The city's iconic locations are transformed by light installations for the first Lumiere London festival

LONDON • London's iconic Westminster Abbey was lit up like multi-coloured confectionery and a giant flame loomed over the capital's premier shopping drag on Thursday, part of the city's first festival of light.

Crowds flocked to dazzling sculptures puncturing the cold winter night, including ghostly fish swooping through the air in Piccadilly and an enormous animated elephant near Regent Street's upmarket shops.

"It's contemporary culture which engages the emotions rather than the cerebral, that is designed for a mass audience to share public space," said Ms Helen Marriage of Artichoke, a charity that works with artists to create large-scale, popular events.

Organisers of Lumiere London, a venture backed by Mayor Boris Johnson, say it is the biggest light festival to hit the capital and its 30 works are distributed among some of the city's most famous landmarks.

The spectacle has its origins in Durham, in England's northeast, where it has been held every two years since 2009.

The festival is a boon for London tourism, adding to its cultural draw, and shops and restaurants near the installations stayed open later to cash in.

A million visitors are expected during the festival's four days. The free event runs until Sunday, from 6.30 to 10.30pm daily.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2016, with the headline 'London lights up'. Print Edition | Subscribe