Canary Wharf is known for its Winter Lights Festival but often has a Summer Lights Festival that celebrates the beauty of natural light, and the long summer days.
On a beautiful sunny morning, I made a tour of some of the outdoor installations, there are 11 new installations, as well as 6 permanent pieces, around Canary Wharf for visitors to discover, plus a exhibition of hand-blown glass in the Lobby of One Canada Square.
Pointillist Bird by Yoni Alter, Wren Landing
Yoni Alter has taken inspiration from the pointillist movement of the 1880s characterised by the painting technique of applying small dots of paint to build up the whole picture. Here, 98 colourful translucent discs are suspended in mid-air to form a 3-meter-wide magnificent pointillist bird.
Helix by Calidos, Cabot Square
Helix is a conceptual representation of the DNA chain, the basic structure of human life. The structure works with the natural elements: wind gently rotates the structure, whilst sunlight catches and highlights the multi-coloured, reflective metal.
Love Birds by Atelier Sisu, Jubilee Park
Love Birds is an immersive and naturally kinetic installation. Gliding above the audience, the colourful birds flutter in the wind, catching the sunlight and casting shadows on the ground.
Lights on Data by Fisheye, Reuters Plaza
Have a seat and take a look at how this solar experiment unravels its secrets. As visitors enjoy this conceptual piece of city furniture, the sun creates an alluring shadow play filled with colour, reflection and even data.
Planet @ Risk by Mark Swysen, Water Street
A welded construction in aluminium suggests the 8 meridians and the Arctic and Antarctic polar circles of a huge see-through globe. On a sunny day the installation will appear to radiate through the reflection of sunlight in the central cylindrical mirrors.
Infinity and Beyond by Martin Richman & Emma Kate Matthews, Harbour Quay Gardens
Infinity and Beyond offers a layered and visually ambiguous experience of Canary Wharf’s Harbour Quay Gardens, presenting infinite reflections of adjacent buildings and multi-image patterns of the surroundings within each structure. Much like a kaleidoscope, each module is lined with reflective mirror, with holes cut in the surface.
This installation consists of six free-standing triangular units. They stand at three different heights to accommodate a wide range of visitors, including children, adults, pushchairs, and wheelchair users.
Expanded Landscapes by Nathaniel Rackowe, Harbord Square Gardens
Expanded Landscapes echoes and unpicks the built environment of Canary Wharf. Surface, colour, transparency, and form come together to act as an expansive counterpoint to the surrounding architecture.
Gleamhhh by OGE Design Group, Cubitt Steps
The Long and Winding Road by Ottotto, Harbour Quay Gardens
Made from corrugated drainpipes on a steel structure, this installation is a great example of the repurposing of materials, and the transformation of the functional into the beautiful.
The installation encourages people to walk within the and be bathed in the yellow light streaming through the pipes.
O.T. 1131 by Stefan Reiss, Level -1, Crossrail Place
Love IRL by Stuart Langley, Adams Plaza
Ebb & Flow by Louis Thompson, Lobby, One Canada Square
Ocean Rise by Aphra Shemza, Canary Riverside
Ocean Rise is a mixed reality sculpture that highlights the rise in sea levels due to global warming. The sculpture is made from recycled materials that emulate a wave creating a connection between the city and the ocean.
Shine Your Colours by Tine Bech, Canary Riverside
Captivated by Colour by Camille Walala, Adams Plaza Bridge
Tear by Richard Hudson, Jubilee Plaza
Kaleidoscopic Prisms by Fiona Grady, Jubilee Pavilion
The Knot by Richard Hudson, Water Street
An Hour of Glass By Colin Priest, throughout Canary Wharf
There is always plenty going on in Canary Wharf over the summer so why not try to spot in installations and the rather colourful steps.
After a few days in Canada, it was a surprise to see a rather crowded West India dock on my return. One of the more interesting visitors is the Shabab Oman II is a sail training ship for the Royal Navy of Oman and is 87-metre (285 ft) long with a beam of 11 metres (36 ft). When fully rigged there is a total of 2,700 square metres (29,000 sq ft) of sails.
Shabab Oman II was built to replace the popular ageing Shabab Oman. The new ship is a three-masted squared rigged clipper, with a sailing speed of up to 17 knots. She has a crew of at least 90 made up of 54 permanent crew and 36 trainees.
Shabab Oman II was designed by Dykstra Naval Architects, Amsterdam, Netherlands. She was built by Damen Shipyards, Galaţi, Romania and launched on 2 December 2013.In 2014, she was towed to Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, Vlissingen, Netherlands for fitting out, including the fitting of her masts.
She entered service with the Royal Navy of Oman in August 2014. Her first long voyage was the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Sea of Oman to reach Muscat, the Omani capital.
In 2019, Shabab Oman II visited 17 ports in 12 countries and is a welcome visitor to London where she follows a long line of sail training ships that have visited the dock. It is always a thrill to see ships that are continuing the skills and traditions of sailing ships.