A Free Light Festival That Will Tempt You To Thamesmead

M@
By M@
A Free Light Festival That Will Tempt You To Thamesmead
A glowing message on scaffolding: Peace is the dream of a shared human soul that we build every day with forgiveness and kindness and hope

What's your favourite illuminated sculpture made of willow and reclaimed parachutes?

Chances are it'll be Instafrost by Nathalie Coste, one of many glowing installations at Thamesmead's forthcoming Light The Way Festival.

This free light spectacular takes place across the southeast London neighbourhood on Saturday 27 November. If you've never visited Thamesmead — famed for its brutalist residential architecture — then this is a sparkling opportunity to have a snoop while enjoying some art.

It's one of those events with many intriguing highlights. Some potential stunners include floating sculptures pulled along by radio-controlled tugs, a four-metre-high hourglass and "audio-visual holograms dispersed amongst the trees and shrubbery".

The festival also offers the chance to get one up on your friends. Everybody* will be talking about Thamesmead next summer, when a 23-metre-high hot air balloon will be tethered over the area. Called Fields of EveryWhen, the balloon will be printed with the stories, memories and artwork of local people — some of which will be collected at the light festival.

But set our gaze back on November. The light festival will follow a walking path from the ancient Lesnes Abbey (which will be adorned with giant hand-made roses), across Abbey Way, around Southmere Lake and finishing at the Lakeside Centre. A handy map shows where the trail will go, along with hints about some of the art you'll see.

And, yep, visitors will also find the usual festival add-ons of food and drink stalls, creative workshops, storytelling and music — but all with a Thamesmead flavour (apart from the food, which probably won't taste of Thamesmead unless you drop it into the lake. Not advised).

The Festival is a collaboration between Peabody and Bexley Council’s Lesnes Abbey, delivered by outdoor arts specialist Emergency Exit Arts with funding from CLEVER Cities and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thamesmead's Light The Way Festival, 27 November, 5-9pm. The trail is free.


*Not everybody, but quite a few people.

Last Updated 22 November 2021