An ambitious group of artists are aiming to banish the post-Christmas gloom and literally brighten the mood in across the capital with Lumiere London.

It will see iconic locations in Piccadilly, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square,Westminster, Mayfair, and King’s Cross closed from January 14 to 17 and transformed by an extraordinary array of 30 light installations.


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An enormous illuminated net will be strung over Oxford Circus to illustrate how the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011 cut short the day by 1.8 microseconds. (Janet Echelman's 1.8 London. Photo by Matthew Andrews)

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A magical circus projection will fill Granary Square with music and mayhem. (Circus of Light by

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Magical frozen figures will appear in St James. (Les Voyageurs (The Travellers) by Cédric le Borgne. Photo by Matthew Andrews)

See an animated elephant stomp through Regent Street, stick men dance at Liberty House, Westminster Abbey transformed by multicoloured martyrs and a telephone box turned into an aquarium full of exotic fish in Grosvenor Square.

You can get involved in King’s Cross where interactive installation Light Graffiti invites audiences to use smartphone torches or any source of light to paint their surroundings.

Or spend your time hunting out the more subtle installations including a piece created using just plastic bottles, water and bleach that will illuminate The Crossing, in Central St Martins, shimmering LED dresses in Liberty’s windows, a diver appearing to plunge into King’s Cross Pond Club and neon birdhouses nestled within Brown Hart Gardens accompanied by human song.

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Litre of Light, MyShelter Foundation and Mick Stephenson. Photo by Matthew Andrews

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Neon Dogs by Deepa Mann-Kler. Photograph by Chris Hill

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Binary Waves by LAb[au]. Photo Matthew Andrews

Some pieces such as Shadia Walking by Julian Opie in Soho will become permanent.

The free four-day festival is run by Artichoke and coincides with the lead up to ‘Blue Monday’ on January 18.

The group will host an inspiring afternoon of talks (Jan 15) at Bloomberg from artists, city planners, philanthropists and cultural commentators, who will dissect the use of public spaces, whether art can be popular and the effect that events like Lumiere can have on audiences.