Illuminated River celebratory display as part of Totally Thames Festival

05 October 2021

Artist Leo Villareal programmed celebratory display across all nine Illuminated River bridges as part of Totally Thames Festival 2021

On Thursday 23rd September, artist Leo Villareal programmed a celebratory display, modifying the lighting for one night only across all nine Illuminated River bridges. The special display altered the sequencing of abstract patterns of light and colour on London to Lambeth bridges and encompassed the Thames landmark of the London Eye – lit in a one-off occasion with an Illuminated River colour scheme.

Free and publicly accessible to all, the display marked the opening of the Illuminated River Foundation’s three-nights programme of events, which aim to reconnect Londoners and visitors to the Thames and its bridges. Taking place from 23rd to 25th September, the event series formed part of 2021’s Totally Thames Festival.

The Illuminated River Foundation’s bespoke programme of free and low-cost events included a range of exciting collaborations: a ‘How to Be Brilliant’ talk for aspiring lighting designers by Illuminated River environmental consultants, Jonathan Gittins and Elga Neimann, in partnership with the Institution of Lighting Professionals; and a night-time photography workshop with Morley College; a boat tour led by Illuminated River’s architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands with Uber Boat by Thames Clippers; and a heritage walking tour of the Thames with Black History Walks.

The long-term art installation was unveiled in its entirety in Spring 2021, with Lambeth, Westminster, Golden Jubilee, Waterloo and Blackfriars Road Bridges joining Millennium, Southwark, Cannon Street and London Bridges, which were illuminated in July 2019. This September’s events programme provided the first opportunity for the public to gather together and celebrate the five new bridges illuminated earlier this year, marking the completion of this new artwork for London.

What’s On?

Spanning London to Lambeth bridges, the Illuminated River artwork is now complete!

Join the City of London and Westminster Guides on a FREE socially distanced walking tour of the final five bridges – Blackfriars, Waterloo, Golden Jubilee, Westminster and Lambeth.

Watch this space for our project talks, outdoor sketching, riverside yoga, photography competitions, music performances… and more. Boat tours in partnership with Uber Boat x Thames Clippers are resuming in September. Follow us on Twitter to receive updates.

You can also download a self-guided walking route, kids pack and other resources here for enjoying the Illuminated River artwork in a socially distanced manner.

To find out more please visit: Illuminated River