Battersea Power Station Shining Bright This Winter With Return Of Annual Light Festival
• Battersea Power Station’s third annual free Light Festival will be brightening up winter evenings this January through to March
• Returning bigger than ever, visitors will discover eight spectacular installations from international artists on display, with four making their UK debut and two making their London debut
• Make an evening out of your visit and enjoy the great mix of shops, bars and restaurants now open at Battersea Power Station
Returning for its third year to London’s most exciting new riverside neighbourhood, the free-to-attend Light Festival at Battersea Power Station will be brightening up the dark winter evenings again with the largest collection of installations to date from 19th January – 5th March 2023. Eight spectacular pieces of artwork, curated in partnership with Light Art Collection, will be on display both outdoors and inside the iconic Grade II* listed Power Station, which opened its doors to the public for the first time in history in October 2022, alongside Electric Boulevard, a new pedestrianised high street for London.
Visitors can enjoy light installations from artists such as Atelier Haute Cuisine who have enlarged and illuminated an everyday object, a bath plug, to encourage people to consider the importance of clean water, society’s consumption and reducing how much water is wasted ‘going down the drain’. Another artist enlarging objects is UK based Studio Vertigo, using the nostalgic toy Slinky with the intention to see a city in a new playful way. Returning to the Power Station for the third year is the popular Eternal Sundown by Mads Vegas, using 140 energy-saving LED tubes to create a post-apocalyptic sunset along The Coaling Jetty with the iconic Battersea Power Station as a backdrop.
Alongside the installations, visitors can enjoy some great food huts and trucks joining the festival this year including Cheese King, Chipsy, Fondue Power, Queen of Crepes, Roti King and Simply Hog Roast. Diners looking for somewhere to warm-up at Battersea Power Station can enjoy the likes of Where the Pancakes Are, Le Bab, Clean Kitchen, Megan’s, Fiume, Wright Brothers, Tapas Brindisa, Tonkotsu, Cinnamon Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen & Bar or Street Pizza. There is also Vagabond Wines, Battersea Brewery and Birdies if you fancy a glass of wine, beer or round of golf!
Kate Boothman-Meier, Head of Marketing at Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC), said:
“Seeing our annual Light Festival return for a third year, bigger and brighter than before after such a successful 2022 is fantastic, with the majority of installations making their London or UK debut. It will also be the first-time hosting some pieces inside the iconic Power Station’s Turbine Halls since it opened last October for people to discover and marvel at during their visit. We look forward to starting the new year bringing together some of the most innovative light artists for a bright and bold Light Festival that has something for all to enjoy.”
The eight light installations from some of the globe’s most innovative light artists on display at this year’s Light Festival, which is free to the public, include:
Badstop by Atelier Haute Cuisine (UK debut)
By enlarging and illuminating this common everyday utensil, it demands attention. Atelier Haute Cuisine wants to use the attention and the symbolic value of the bath plug to make people think about the importance of clean water. The bath plug ensures that water doesn’t drain away through the sink hole. It should remind people of the importance that clean, unpolluted water isn’t going down the drain either. Putting in the plug every now and then in this sense, is a symbolic call to reflect about the consumption of clean water and prevention of waste. After all, water is the driving force of the world and essential for the maintenance and development of life. On display for the first time in the UK, Badstop will be located in the water feature in Circus West Village next to the Power Station.
End Over End by Studio Vertigo (London debut)
“Slinky was once just a little old everyday spring on a ship. One day Dick took it home to show his family. His little boy, Tommy, surprised everybody by making the spring walk down the stairs – all by itself!” That’s what is written in an old Slinky toy sales brochure. And that’s how the spiral-shaped ‘stair walker’ was born, in the home of mechanical engineer Richard James in 1943. Shortly after James and his wife marketed the toy in 1945, it became an immensely popular gift that Christmas season. Since then, the number of Slinkys sold could circle the earth 150 times! In line with most of Studio Vertigo’s work, this installation turns your world upside down. The artwork is nostalgic – who didn’t place a Slinky on the stairs as a child? – while being surrealistic. Studio Vertigo’s creation will be on display in London for the first time, located next to the Power Station’s Switch House East.
Moonburn by Stichting Barstow (UK debut)
Has the moon fallen from the sky? Everyone understands that Moonburn is ‘just’ a large balloon that has been decorated with fluorescent paint. Although considerably smaller than the real moon – six meters as compared to 3,475 kilometres – the balloon appears larger… For Stichting Barstow, it wasn’t enough just to imitate the moon. They had to add something, something to connect the moon with the city. Better yet, connect the moon to the craziness of the city, the lights and the crowds. The solution was fluorescent paint. Now the moon reflects the light of its surroundings. At night, the moon charges with the energy radiated by the city. In return, Moonburn, which is making its UK debut and will be displayed on a balcony on the Power Station’s river facing facade, ensures temporary insanity in the minds of those who look up and find themselves in another dimension. The last stop before total absurdity.
Strangers in the Light by Victor Engbers and Ina Smits (UK debut)
The little figures we know from pedestrian traffic lights, that we sometimes impatiently have to wait on, are more than just icons in the installation Strangers in the Light. Making its UK debut, artists Victor Engbers and Ina Smits have enlarged the figures into 4.5 metre tall sculptures, whereby they lose their original function of telling you whether you can cross the street or have to wait. The figures have become characters in their own story. They have to come to life and have escaped from their ‘black box’, where they meet each other for the first time on the street. They have been trapped in a traffic light, escaping each other again and again as one disappeared when the other appeared. Who knows, they may become friends or even fall in love, like in Frank Sinatra’s song that inspired the title of this artwork: We were strangers in the night / Up to the moment when we said our first hello / Little did we know / Love was just a glance away, a warm embracing dance away. Strangers in the Light will be in situ on Prospect Way, located between the Battersea Power Station Underground Station and the Grade II* listed landmark.
Rotifers by Nicole Banowetz (UK debut)
Rotifers are fascinating creatures; evolutionary mysteries that survive through endurance and adaptations. When the rotifer is attacked by predatory fungus it dries up and is carried away in the wind to a new environment. It shatters its DNA, allowing it to pick up DNA from its surroundings. This inflatable artwork by Nicole Anona Banowetz gives a microscopic view on the circle of life of rotifers. In a way, this installation also represents the circle of life of nature in general. The DNA as information carrier functions as a beautiful analogy, especially in our contemporary society where access to information is more ubiquitous than ever. Making its UK debut, Rotifers will be on display in Turbine Hall B inside the Power Station.
Neighborhood by Sergey Kim (London debut)
Illuminated laundry will hang along Electric Boulevard, a new pedestrianised high street for London, as part of Sergey Kim’s Neighborhood installation. On display for the first time in London, glowing white garments include a cheerful collection of blouses, T-shirts, underwear, trousers, dresses, a pair of wide Turkish pants, a traditional Jewish dress, and a Moroccan djellaba. Together these pieces represent the cultural and ethnic mix of residents in the city as a subtle but surprising intervention in the cityscape. The washing lines create a friendly, neighbourhood feeling. It is this connection that is paramount for Sergey Kim; according to the artist, despite globalisation and the wealth of information exchange around the world, we increasingly fear foreigners. In large cities, people live in isolation, it’s common not to know your neighbours. The artist hopes to send a positive message into the world by using something as every day and universal as drying laundry to represent an image of people coexisting harmoniously.
My Light is Your Light by Alaa Minawi
On display in Turbine Hall A, inside the Grade II* listed Power Station, My Light is Your Light is about the uncertainty of being. The six figures represent refugees and are made of curved neon tubes. The work was conceived by artist Alaa Minawi, a Dutch – Lebanese – Palestinian artist based in Amsterdam. The choice for neon lighting was conscious. Neon emanates the same soft, serene light as a refugee, says Minawi, who has worked with asylum seekers between 2010 and 2014. The work is a temporary monument for refugees, and though suggesting a sense of sadness at first glance, the installation emanates a certain optimism and infinite confidence in the future as the family keeps on thriving.
Eternal Sundown by Mads Vegas
Returning to Battersea Power Station’s Grade II* listed Coaling Jetty for a third year, the popular Eternal Sundown is performed by Danish light designer, Mads Vegas, and consists of approximately 140 filtered fluorescent tubes. The artist did not intend for the work to look like a natural sunset but deliberately used materials that give it a post-apocalyptic feel. Will this manmade sun be the only source of light when the polluted air will not let the sunshine through anymore? Or is this piece, made with recycled materials, a sign of hope and a new source of sustainable power?
Visitors to the Light Festival will also be able to enjoy a spot of shopping inside the Power Station and on Electric Boulevard, a new pedestrianised high street for London. Brands now open at this exciting new riverside neighbourhood include Nike, Adidas, Reformation, Hackett, Sweaty Betty, Mango, Uniqlo, neighbourhood bookstore, The Battersea Bookshop from specialist bookseller Stanfords, ZARA and ZARA HOME to name a few.
The Grade II* listed building is also home to The Cinema in the Power Station, which screens all of the latest blockbusters, and Lift 109, a unique glass elevator experience which transports visitors 109m to the top of the building’s north west chimney offering spectacular 360° views of the London skyline.
Travelling to the Light Festival at Battersea Power Station couldn’t be easier with the Zone 1 Battersea Power Station Underground station bringing the riverside neighbourhood within 15 minutes of the West End and the City. Battersea Power Station also has its very own Uber Boat by Thames Clippers pier and is 15-minute journey from Embankment, 20 minutes from Blackfriars, 30 minutes from Putney and 40 minutes from Canary Wharf. The riverside neighbourhood is easily accessible by bus, bike, car and train too.