Walking into night…

…from sunset at Blackfriars Bridge to night-time at Lambeth Bridge, past Illuminated River’s latest light installations.

Spring 2021 saw the second stage of Illuminated River’s marvellous public art installation: the lighting of Blackfriars, Waterloo, the Golden Jubilee footbridges, Westminster and Lambeth Bridges designed by Leo Villareal. They join London, Canon Street Railway, Southwark and Millennium Bridges, illuminated in the summer of 2019. A walk along the river Thames at nightfall is a magical experience as riverside buildings begin to light up, sprinkling glitter, shimmering on the surface of the water. Here I follow a small section of the Thames Path from Blackfriars Bridge upstream to Lambeth Bridge, looking at the newest installations, where the experience of oncoming darkness is further heightened by the gradual illumination and subtle evolution of the lighting on the bridges along the way.

The sun sets, and right on cue the illumination beneath Blackfriars Bridge stirs into life
Afterglow catching the upstream side of Blackfriars Bridge as different colours of the illumination grow stronger
Waterloo Bridge with its band of light and changing colours beneath its arches
Illuminated arch of Waterloo Bridge and M.V. THOMAS DOGGETT at her mooring
The Jubilee footbridges either side of the Hungerford Railway Bridge
Two of Westminster Bridges arches in their classic shade of green
A subtle change in the lighting of Westminster Bridge as its colour evolves to another shade of green
Partial unveiling of the Elizabeth Tower and one of its clock faces
Luxury yacht BOURNE heading towards Westminster Bridge
M.V. MERCIA heading towards Lambeth Bridge seen from Westminster Bridge
The seven illuminated arches of Westminster Bridge
Lambeth Bridge seen from Victoria Tower Gardens
Lambeth Bridge seen from the Albert Embankment
The London Eye seen from Westminster Bridge
The London Eye and Westminster Bridge seen from Lambeth Bridge

From nightfall you can see the Thames as a kaleidoscope of liquid colour, with infinite, ever-changing reflections shifted by the constant movement of ebbing and flowing tides, wash waves from passing boats, and gusts of wind. But at 2.00 am, the lights fade, the bridges darken and the river returns to its more restful natural state…

Further Information
Article in the Financial Times by Edwin Heathcote, February 10, 2021
Article in the Guardian by Rowan Moore, April 11, 2021
The Illuminated River Project
The Illuminated River Art Trail