Following a 2-year break, Winter Lights returned with a bang for its seventh edition in January 2023. Running for eleven nights, Canary Wharf was transformed by over twenty mesmerising light installations, first conjured up in the imaginations of some of the most innovative light artists across the globe and brought to reality in the extraordinary environment of Canary Wharf.

Attracting over 500,000 visitors, our 2023 edition explored themes such as togetherness, climate-change, and the transfer of data, as well as the simpler pleasures of beauty, playfulness and the whimsical. Our line-up featured seventeen temporary artworks, several of which were newly commissioned by Canary Wharf Group, as well as five of our permanent light artworks.

The festival had a varied programme showcasing projection, LEDs and fibre optic installations. Visitors could discover resurrected mammoths at Riverside in the form of _Permafrost- Sleeping Giants_ by Fisheye, immerse themselves in _Anima_ by Elisava – a tunnel of sparkling fibre optics, and watch Gertjan Adema’s _Fragmented Appearances_ – a beautiful, mirrored spinning top, contrasted with a soundscape of vibrating and shattering glass.

Pieces such as _PING_ by Gijs Van Bon, an undulating 125-metre-long track of communicating beacons, and _Continuum_ by Illumaphonium, a meticulously arranged matrix of reactive and resonating stainless-steel mirrors, were specifically chosen for spaces that would allow the artworks to take on unique qualities. The beauty of these artworks lies in their ability to be reconfigured and reimagined time and time again. This meant that even if a visitor had seen them elsewhere, the exhibition of them in Canary Wharf still offered a distinct experience.

At Canary Wharf, sustainability it always a major factor for us. Inevitably Winter Lights requires power, however, we try to reduce our environmental impact by opting for mains power over generators and the artworks on display were all re-used at other festivals in whole, or in parts. In addition to this, many of the works on display in 2023 aimed to enlighten the audience about issues surrounding climate change. For example, _Permafrost – Sleeping Giants_ by Fisheye imagined the resurrection of three ancient mammoths through the thawing of permafrost (a permanently frozen layer beneath the earth’s surface); _Elantica ‘The Boulder’_ by Tom&Lien Dekyvere made use of discarded circuit-boards to create this organic form, perfectly symbolising the pursuit of harmony between nature and artifice. Specifically commissioned to sit in the flood channel outside the Elizabeth line station, Elantica found its permanent home at Canary Wharf and will be featured in the Winter Lights 2024 line-up.

The final piece on our 2023 trail was the showstopping _Floating Earth_ by Luke Jerram. The monumental artwork displayed in Middle Dock aimed to evoke similar emotions to that of an astronaut viewing earth from space. Coined the ‘Overview Effect’ by Frank White in 1987, common features of this experience include a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

Supplier Partners

Lighting Designer Partners

Trophies created by

Photo Booth created by

Supported by

Organised by

In collaboration with