A Review Of London's Burning

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 30 months ago

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A Review Of London's Burning
The dome of St. Paul's will be set ablaze every night of the weekend.

London's Burning was the new festival from Artichoke, who brought us the brilliant and astoundingly popular Lumiere.

The weekend-long festival was a commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

The fire garden in front of the Tate Modern.

In front of the Tate Modern was a fantastic fire garden with lots of fiery installations and live music. There were lots of photo opportunities but we saw plenty of people just staring into the fires or chilling out on the grass with friends. It created a great atmosphere, romantic and mysterious.

You could feel the heat radiating off the works and the smell of fire even reaches to the other side of St Paul's across the river.

One of the flaming installations in the fire garden.

Heading across the bridge to St Paul's was the chance to catch another work as the dome of the cathedral was "ablaze", with a projection. It was stunning to look at as the fire changed colour from red to orange, then blue and white.

It was clearly a nod to the old St Paul's which was destroyed in the Great Fire, affording Sir Christopher Wren the opportunity to build the current masterpiece. The only downside is the shifting of colours means it often looks more like a heat map than actual flames.

A close up of the dome aflame.

Over near Liverpool Street station, in Exchange Square, it's not fire but water that had us hooked. A cubed shape performance piece slowly filled and emptied of water as performers used the water as a stage. Some span around and danced in a mesmerising and graceful style, while others got dressed and slept.

This work had us hypnotised as we watched, but there was also a deeper message here about the disasters of the future may not be fire but water based. Climate change is causing water levels to rise and fall, and this work asks us to reflect on how flooding is regularly impacting people across the world.

The hypnotic underwater ballet in Exchange Square.

Last Updated 22 September 2016