The Thamesmead light festival returns this Saturday 4 March from 5pm – 10pm featuring stunning light installations along a walking trail starting at the Lakeside Centre, running along Bazalgette Way and parts of the Ridgeway, and finishing at Crossway Park.
‘Light the Way’ — a collaboration between Peabody and Hive Curates — will present a trail of striking illuminated displays alongside a UV silent disco, the Thamesmead Travelling Cinema and a flash mob courtesy of the London College of Performing Arts. Coffee and hot cider stations will be positioned along the walking trail for those who want to beat the winter chill and the Y on the Lake Café at the Lakeside Centre will be open for anybody who wants to grab a bite to eat.
Chantelle Purcell, Co-Founder and Director at Hive Curates, said:
Light the Way will be packed with lots of exciting family-friendly light installations. In these darker months, we wanted to unite communities by sparking joy through positivity and light.
The festival has given us the opportunity to work in remarkable landscapes and transform these settings at night. There’s some incredible local conservation work being delivered by local groups Pathway to the Thames and North West Countryside Partnership and we wanted to highlight that throughout the route as well. As a team of creatives it was really important to connect with these wonderful communities and local creatives to celebrate biodiversity, wildlife and the many waterways surrounding Thamesmead. We hope you’ll join us in switching off your lights at home and joining us in discovering unexpected and playful light pieces in the Thamesmead landscape.
One of the highlights on the night — ‘New Frontiers’ — is a showstopping 25m wide x 12m high water screen which will display four films that tie into the light festival’s theme of highlighting the beauty and importance of Thamesmead’s natural environment. This will include ‘The Odds & Evens’ film by local filmmaker Simon Rattigan.
Other Thamesmead artists taking part in the light festival include Miyuki Kasahara, who will be hosting a light medallion art workshop and displaying her ‘Folding Flocks’ origami installation; Sarah Garrod, who will be presenting the community-led ‘Nature Through a New Lens’ piece; and Lisa Cheung and Alex J Tuckwood with ‘STELA’ which will transport you to arctic skies with electric blue, green and violet lights.
Visitors can also look forward to seeing: ‘A Fragile World’, a colourful iceberg artwork in Crossway Pond which will glow using energy generated by bike pedaling and ‘Unity’, which was designed to help people reconnect and appreciate the importance of public art. The Pathways to the Thames project team will be speaking with visitors about their plans to create a new path to connect Southmere Lake to the River Thames, a project which is in partnership with Sustrans and the GLA.
Lisa Drew, Peabody’s Cultural Programme Manager for Thamesmead, said:
What makes the light festival special is it gives us an opportunity to show that Thamesmead’s rich landscape can be enjoyed all year round, not just in the warmer months. We’ve got a fantastic night planned for this year’s event with everything themed around nature and local biodiversity.
“The installations will be visually spectacular and we’re fortunate enough to have worked with a host of diverse artists, some of whom are local to the area. It’s been a pleasure working with Hive Curates who understand why showcasing local talent is so important to us, and we can’t wait until visitors get to experience the light festival in person.
You can download the map for the light festival trail here.
Would you like to join the dream team delivering the festival on 4th March? Find out more about the paid and voluntary roles available here.