Giant bubbles land in London as Evanescent display brings light to the City

Giant bubbles land in London as Evanescent display brings light to the City
Evanescent at the Leadenhall Building by Atelier Sisu ©Atelier Sisu

Giant, iridescent bubbles have landed in the City of London in a bid to raise spirits throughout January.

Evanescent is a free, outdoor sound and light installation on display in London for the first time, having premiered in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, in 2021.

And it is underway right now against the backdrop of the iconic Leadenhall Building, and will remain in situ for the public to enjoy until 10 February.

Evanescent was created by Atelier Sisu, a Sydney-based design studio led by award-winning artists Renzo B. Larriviere and Zara Pasfield, who work within the intersection of art and architecture creating large-scale site-specific works that enchant by reinventing spaces.

The shimmering inflatable domes are gathered in clusters of four, reaching 7.5m high, and positioned in the west area of the public realm beneath The Cheesegrater, inviting audiences to move under and around them.

The bubbles are made from a colour-reflecting dichroic film that reacts to the changing light of the sun as it moves across the sky, causing a rainbow of reflection across the ground, and framing a unique picture from every angle.

Evanescent is commissioned by the Eastern City Business Improvement District (EC BID), and delivered by FESTIVAL.ORG, whose production credits include Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, with the support of the City of London Corporation and the Leadenhall Building.

The installation is part of RECHARGE, a campaign launched by EC BID in early January 2023, to support the mental health and wellbeing of workers and visitors to the area, and drive footfall to local businesses struggling during a quieter than usual January.

Throughout January and February, the BID will be hosting workshops, events and other activities to help people ‘recharge’ as 2023 gets going.

Kate Hart, CEO of the EC BID, said that providing a boost to mental wellbeing was a real driving force behind the exhibition.

Hart said: “A recent survey revealed that in London 18 per cent of people will be spending more days working from home in 2023 to escape the bad weather, the strikes and to save on costs, as well as possibly suffering from mental health challenges.

“As we all work to ‘recharge’ London’s renaissance we’re taking action to celebrate the City and to support the wellbeing of visitors, workers, and residents.

“Evanescent is about sparking joy – and is part of our commitment to give people, from local workers to families, compelling reasons to visit the Square Mile and even more reasons to stay.”

Artists Renzo and Zara said: “The artwork was inspired during the pandemic, when the world stopped and everything we took for granted started to disappear.

“We wanted to communicate this feeling of transient beauty, and the need to live in the moment through the idea of the bubble. Art-chitecture as well call it, connects audiences with their environment and is designed to be truly inclusive.

“By emulating the ethereal quality and magic of bubbles, Evanescent appeals to our childlike wonder and universal playfulness – something we all need at this time of year”.

Bradley Hemmings, Founder and Artistic Director of FESTIVAL.ORG, said that in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and the darkest, coldest months of the year, Evanescent will bring “a hopeful sense of wonder for thousands of Londoners.”

Hemmings added: “We are thrilled to be working with the EC BID and Atelier Sisu to bring this visually stunning installation to London for the first time off the back of a joyous Greenwich + Docklands International Festival 2022.”

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