The llluminated River is the longest public art commission in the world. Each bridge has a specially designed sequence personally created by the artist and all together they shine a subtle and beautiful light on the Thames and London.
American light artist Leo Villareal and London architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands impressed the jury of the competition with their exciting kinetic artwork as well as their respect for the natural environment, local inhabitants and the architectural character and history of the bridges.
In this walk we look at the first four bridges to be illuminated:
Cannon Street Railway Bridge
City Guides are proud to walk and talk about this dynamic project in the City enhanced with ‘light and code’ to create a monumental kinetic sculpture. We look at the bridges' history, ancient and modern, construction how and when, impact on the City as well as engage you with the considerable collaboration that has taken place to bring this re-focus on the Thames which will open a wider discussion on lighting strategy for the bridges and the River as a whole. An exciting journey from an idea to reality and the involvement of many communities, boroughs, associations, and the public to create a piece of art that can be enjoyed by everyone.
“Leo Villareal's work is focused on stripping systems down to their essence to better understand the underlying structures and rules that govern how they work. He is interested in lowest common denominators such as pixels or the zeros and ones in binary code.” © Leo Villareal Artist’s Statement
We try to make our walks as inclusive and accessible as possible and use lifts to access the riverside path.
Booking is essential via Eventbrite
In addition, you can visit some of the City's delightful gardens, while in the evening take a stroll along the river to admire London's bridges, now beautifully lit thanks to the Illuminated River Project.
Note: We try to make our walks as inclusive and accessible as possible.
If you would like to organise your own walk, lecture or a virtual tour, then please use our Find a Guide section. If you're a member of an Arts Society or a U3A group we'd love to take you on a tour of the City. And if you're a company based in the City who would like to organise a social event for your work colleagues, why not book an evening walk with us? As guides we know where all the good pubs are!