Tripping The Light Fantastic At Circus West

Battersea Power Station's interactive and free Light Festival is now on

January 21, 2020

Artists from across Europe have collaborated to make an astonishing lighting display for the new decade, now on display at Battersea Power Station. The installation has been commissioned by The Light Art Collection - the people behind the Amsterdam Light Festival – and runs until 16 February.

Displays include Talking Heads by Hungarian light artist Viktor Vicsek. The two heads in question ‘interact’ with each other, covering a range of emotions expressed through light. Originally shown at 2019’s Amsterdam Light Festival each head is made up of approximately 4000 individually controllable LEDs creating different facial expressions in various colours.

Viktor Vicsek describes himself as an interaction designer. He has worked on installation for exhibitions, theatre and dance shows. Nowadays he creates architectural project lighting and 3D projections.

Action Reaction 2.0 is an interactive display by Dutch artist Sjimme Veenhuis. His installation, which has already travelled the globe, comprises a large screen with a thousand buttons, each of which can be pressed by visitors to light up and make patterns. Sjimme explains: “The psychology behind the physical or digital button is quite simple. From remote controls to doorbells, we are used to pressing buttons and getting a reward as a result: the television turns on, letters appear on your computer screen, or a friend opens the door.”

In his large installations Sjimmie typically uses ‘ordinary’ objects in their original form to create geometric patterns based on their shapes, textures and colours. The objects remain recognisable to viewers but can also take on a new meaning when interacted with.

Adorning the jetty at Circus West is an abstract colour spectrum called Eternal Sundown. Creator Mads Vegas is a Danish lighting designer and artist who has been designing for theatre, concerts, festivals and even restaurants for more than 20 years. His installation is made up of over 140 filtered fluorescent tubes which he hopes will “spread joy and reminds people that much needed sunlight soon returns”.

A flashing, crackling and sparkling interactive neon sign - ‘This Is It, Be Here Now’ - is by Tropism Art & Science Collective. The artists’ aim is to draw the spectator in by encouraging visitors to come closer to the display’s bright colours, provoking message and loud rustling noises.

The Dutch-based collective describes itself as an art movement “inspired by nature with a distinct interest in science and making use of technology”