Illuminted flotilla set to hit Canary Wharf

Last week, an enormous rubber duck bravely traversed the choppy waters of London’s River Thames, in a stunt that turned out to be orchestrated by online gambling site Jackpotjoy.

Canary Wharf Winter Lights
Canary Wharf Winter Lights

The half-ton waterfowl aimed to reverse the ‘happiness recession’, the brand has said, presumably helping us all to fritter our money away in that happy little pursuit of online gambling.

If one wasn’t enough, another water-based spectacle looks to attempt to up the ante next week, in the form of a 300-strong flotilla of illuminated floating paper boats.

Canary Wharf Winter Lights
Canary Wharf Winter Lights

The fleet was commissioned by the Canary Wharf Group’s public art programme, and will sail the waters around the east London financial hub, displaying colour-changing, pattern-shifting designs that can be altered by those watching them.

By connecting a mobile phone to the Voyage Wi-Fi network, viewers can modify the colours and patterns of the boats through an online tool.

Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2013
Canary Wharf Winter Lights 2013

The piece, entitled Voyage, was created by artistic duo Aether & Hemera, a partnership between architect Claudio Benghi and lighting artist Gloria Ronchi.

Aiming to create an aquatic lightshow, the piece will be this year’s annual Winter Lights installation, put on each year by CWG ‘to enliven the dark evenings’, it says.

Each day the boats will be illuminated from just before dusk until 2am, and organisers say it aims to ‘provoke memories, explore aesthetic interaction, evoke memories of childhood and elicit feelings of connective human experiences from their audience.’

Canary Wharf Winter Lights
Canary Wharf Winter Lights

Voyage is the debut piece in next year’s Canary Wharf Sculpture at Work exhibition programme, which will be showing work from Nick Hornby and Sinta Tantra, Eilis O¹Connell, Halima Cassell and The Ingram Collection of Modern British Art.

Voyage is on show from 12 December – 15 February 2013 at Middle Dock, Canary Wharf, London E14

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