Inside Out Festival
Westminster City Council’s festival, Inside Out brought art, entertainment, and culture outdoors. The festival brought to life the streets of Westminster with a range of exciting and interactive sights for residents and visitors to enjoy. Heart of London celebrated the festival across Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square between the 5 – 26 October.
In Plain Sight for Inside Out
In Plain Sight saw three lit frames placed in the centre of Piccadilly Circus with lights that shifted between red, green, and blue, mixing colours in plain sight. Built from raw mild steel, LEDs and electric cable the sculptural units were representative of the laptop and phone screens of our daily life and contradict our current understanding of technology as sleek objects that are perfectly formed.
Commissioned by Art of London, created by artist BCW and implemented by MT Art Agency, the sculpture was in place in Piccadilly Circus from 14- 17 October. The rectangular space in the frame drew parallels to the rectangular screens of our day-to-day life. The familiarity of the historical setting of Piccadilly Circus was contrasted with the sculpture, highlighting technology’s power to create alienation and social estrangement from the familiar. The area surrounding the installation was transformed by a strange range of colour hues and tones thus transforming the whole environment into a place of otherness.
Scenes in the Square Illuminated for Autumn
The award-winning Scenes in the Square installation situated in Leicester Square, made up of some of the world’s favourite characters and scenes from beloved films and TV shows, has been illuminated this autumn. The bronze statues which include magical characters such as Harry Potter and Mary Poppins, iconic heroes Batman and Wonder Woman and five other statues were lit up from 5 October as part of Inside Out festival, and due to the popularity of the statue illumination this will continue into the winter season.
Wizarding Wand Walkway
A dazzling installation of Wizarding World Wands illuminated Leicester Square to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone film, which first premiered in Leicester Square in 2001.
The installation showed nine towering wands belonging to nine beloved characters from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films lining the entrance to the gardens. The 15ft wands added a touch of magic to Leicester Square lighting up the gardens between 6pm and 8.35pm from 13 October to 25 October, an enchanting display to brighten up the autumn months. Regular light shows took place on scheduled days, set to iconic music from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts scores.
Lessons of the Hour
Royal Academician Isaac Julien CBE RA showcased his film Lessons of the Hour as part of the Piccadilly Art Takeover, by Art of London in partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts and supported by Sky Arts, Piccadilly Lights, Westminster City Council and the Mayor of London. The film is a poetic meditation on the life and times of abolitionist Frederick Douglass featuring British actor Ray Fearon. The content combined ground-breaking augmented reality technology which included an ‘audio sync’ function, allowing visitors to listen along on their mobile devices whilst they watch. The film screened on the evening of the 14 October at 7pm, the very first time a film of this length and magnitude was screened on the Piccadilly Lights, London’s most iconic outdoor screen.
Dazed x CIRCA: Class of 2021
Art platform CIRCA teamed up with Dazed magazine to create the Class of 2021, a competition spotlighting and supporting the next generation of artists working in moving image. After receiving 2,000 applications, judged by world-renowned creatives such as Simone Rocha and Marina Abramovic. Throughout September, 30 best-in-class creations from shortlisted competition entrants were shown on the Piccadilly Lights. As part of Inside Out on evening of 14 October at 20:21, the finalist of the Dazed x CIRCA: Class of 2021 was announced on screen at the Piccadilly Lights by Marina Abramovic. Winner, Joseph Wilson had his film screened once again on the iconic lights and received the coveted prize money and work space provided by Dazed and CIRCA to support his visual artistry. This screening and CIRCA Piccadilly Lights initiatives are supported by Art of London.