Wet light

For one week in London, there was a strange, striking light reaching into the sky after dark. You could see it clearly for miles around.

This was an artistic installation to coincide with the centenary of World War One by Ryoji Ikeda which was placed close to the Houses of Parliament. We joined the many Londoners who visited the source of the spectral column – 49 searchlights accompanied by a haunting, minimalist soundtrack.

Our visit was accompanied by heavy rain, which I though would ruin the chance to take photographs. But of course the lights picked up the deluge and created a wonderful spectacle. I even allowed my camera to get a little wet.

All the visitors wandered around in awe at the light piercing into the sky, unfazed by the downpour. There was an eerie sense that they had gathered to be lifted up by extraterrestrials.

When the light was turned off, it was missed. This was something special.

Click first image for the full gallery experience

Spectra's beams

Waiting to be lifted up by aliens

This way to the gallery

31 thoughts on “Wet light

    • Thank you very much, Mo, much appreciated. The rain definitely gave it an extra edge. But my efforts to do some longer exposure shots were thwarted – the camera doesn’t like getting very wet!

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    • Thank you, Koos, I’m glad you like it. It was something quite special and the rain definitely added to the effect – but made any long exposures with the tripod difficult (even with Dermot and his umbrella!)

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  1. And there you were moaning about the rain today :) Wish I’d seen this. I see it more as the light shining down, being watched over by those who were sacrificed back then. My grandmother lost 3 brothers in WW1. Obviously I never met them, but feel a kind of sense of family loss. This looks like a very fitting tribute, and you showed it to me magnificently, thank you :)

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    • I know, Linda! But this rain was welcomed in the end. You’re quite right about the significance, but I found it hard to make the connection, being so bowled over by the installation in its own right and the difference it made to the London skyline. I’m glad you found a connection to near ancestors and the sacrifice they made a century ago.

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  2. Superb set of images – I only heard abut this after the event. We were at the Tower of London last sunday to see the Poppies and to listen to the Roll of Honour at sunset. Very poignant – I’ll be posting some images of that tomorrow. Well worth visiting if you get the chance.

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    • Thanks Andy, much appreciated. Yes, I’ve been looking at the Tower of London poppy tribute. It’s quite astounding. I’m disappointed us mere mortals don’t have the chance to get closer like the younger Royals did recently. But it’s understandable why. I must go and look at your photos.

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  3. Sadly the closest I got to this was the TV news :( Your photographs and text however have created a wonderful impression – and I’m even more disappointed that I wasn’t able to experience it myself!

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    • Thank you Noeline, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’m sure there were countless millions of photos, but I don’t think that serves as a deterrent. What a shame you weren’t able to see it – I’m sure it would have been memorable. It wasn’t the easiest of sets to edit.

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