Conceived by internationally-acclaimed artist Leo Villareal and British architectural practice Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, and delivered by the Illuminated River Foundation, the artwork has been sensitively developed, paying attention to heritage, wildlife and the built environment to create something exceptional – a transformation that celebrates the role that the Thames bridges play in the enduring global identity of London, and encourages people to enjoy the river and riverside at night.
The realisation of the project has involved a unique collaboration of London’s creative talent, statutory bodies and local communities and will leave a lasting legacy for the capital in the form of a dynamic public artwork, refocusing and celebrating the Thames bridges as social, historical and architectural landmarks.
Illuminated River is a beacon of London’s creativity, ambition and spirit, free and accessible for all to view. Apart from an initial investment of £250,000 from the Olympic Reserve towards the costs of an international competition to light the bridges, Illuminated River is funded through philanthropic sources, and will continue to seek the balance from private sources rather than the public purse.
From the Fourth Plinth to Art on the Underground, our city has a rich heritage of showcasing public art, and I am delighted that Illuminated River is bringing more free and accessible artwork to Londoners. The Thames has played a key role in the growth and development of our capital for centuries, and this unique artwork will help Londoners and visitors see it in a whole new way. The Illuminated River will celebrate the unique architecture and heritage of our bridges, showcase creativity, boost life at night and transform the way we think about the Thames.
View the shortlisted entries for Illuminated River's initial competition to light London's bridges, which attracted over 100 submissions from artists across the world.
The project is delivered by the Illuminated River Foundation. The wider project team combines the expertise of numerous companies, including:
Colt Technology Services
Leo Villareal Studio
Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
London Wildlife Trust
Price & Myers
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