ORGAN PREVIEW: Emergence, an immersive audio-visual installation by This is Loop, debuts at Canary Wharf’s Winter Lights Festival this January, the soundscape is by NYX…

This Is Loop – Prism (Coaldrop Yard, Kings Cross, London, 2021)

As part of Winter Lights 2023 at East London’s Canary Wharf, This is Loop are presenting their most ambitious work to date: a major audio-visual artwork, Emergence. Conceived and built by artists Harriet Lumby and Alan Hayes, the co-founders of This is Loop, Emergence is a new, large-scale sculpture incorporating moving light and an original soundscape by NYX, a choir specialising in electronic drone music. This is Loop are renowned for their sculptural artworks including Prism (Coal Drop Yard, 2021), PULSE and TOROID (Blink Cincinnati 2022, ADE Amsterdam 2022, Light Up Leicester 2022).

This meditative installation of light and sound will be at Canary Wharf, immersing the audience in a moment of escape from the bustling reality around them. Lumby and Hayes have incorporated ideas around the positive effects of light on well being, and the combined mood-altering power of light and sound, to provide an open, inclusive and contemplative experience for audiences this winter. The sculpture is a three by ten metre pavilion, open to the sky and punctuated with entrances so audiences can explore inside. Emergence is made up of mirrored, tunnel trapezoids stacked together, like bricks in a wall, to create a stunning visual effect with over 10,000 LED lights woven throughout. In the daylight, the visual effect of Emergence will mirror the sky, buildings and audience, creating a multifaceted reflection of its surrounding environment. Once darkness falls, the sculpture will be animated with a choreographed light show playing across the many-sided mirror to the captivating soundscape.

Emergence marks the first time This is Loop have worked with NYX, collaborating on the composition of an original score. The lighting works in partnership with the hypnotic soundscape. NYX is an all-female and non-binary choir based in London that specialises in electronic drone sound. The choir is known for testing the boundaries of what a choir can be, as well as pushing the limits of a collective voice as an instrument, resulting in enthralling music, such as the piece for Emergence. NYX have featured on these pages, mostly in terms of their excellent work with Gazelle Twin and indeed feature regularly on our weekly Other Rock Show on Resonance FM

Emergence has been designed as a free and accessible artwork for all members of the community. The installation has been conceived to transcend language and appeal to all ages from 3 to 93. This is Loop aim to highlight the importance of art, light and wellbeing for all in the winter months, and free access to culture for everyone during these difficult economic times. Alongside Emergence, This is Loop will also present their light sculpture TOROID at Canary Wharf’s Winter Lights Festival in Union Square.

Artists and co-founders of This is Loop, Harriet Lumby and Alan Hayes, comment, “Emergence is a concept we have been playing with for a while. The process has been truly collaborative, working with our extended creative team and the brilliant minds of the NYX Choir. It’s resulted in a piece we are extremely excited to be premiering at Canary Wharf’s Winter Lights 2023. Their event has always been a great inspiration to us with such a strong line up of light artists year on year. We can’t wait for audiences to see, hear and feel the results of our  collaborative audio-visual experiment. See you there”

Emergence runs from Wednesday 18th until Saturday 28th January 2023. The location is Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14. The nearest station is Canary Wharf,  a station that connects both the Underground (Jubilee) and DLR services.

Websites: www.thisisloop.co.uk / www.nyx-edc.com / www.canarywharf.com

This Is Loop – Prism (Coaldrop Yard, Kings Cross, London, 2021)

Meanwhile, Canary Whalf themselves say of the whole Winter Lights thing, for there is lots more going on….

“We’re delighted to announce that the award-winning Winter Lights will return in January 2023 for its seventh year!

Our Winter Lights festival is the largest of its kind in London, transforming Canary Wharf with over 20 stunning installations, leaving the dark winter evenings aglow. The spectacle showcases light art and interactive installations by some of the most innovative light artists across the globe with some new commissions alongside pieces never before seen in the UK. From a family of giant mammoths at Riverside, to an immersive fibre-optic tunnel in Wood Wharf, there is sure to be something to spark your imagination and the festival also shines a spotlight on some of our permanent light artworks on the estate which form part of our extensive public art collection.

There’ll be plenty of delicious food options to keep you fuelled throughout the night, whether you choose to grab a quick bite to eat at our street food market or book in for dinner and cocktails at one of our many bars and restaurants, there are options to suit all tastes”.

Artist list…

  1. bit.fall by Julius Popp
  2. The Clew by Ottotto
  3. PING by Gijs van Bon
  4. Permafrost – Sleeping Giants by Fisheye
  5. Continuum by Illumaphonium
  6. The Stars Come Out at Night by Stellar Projects
  7. Captivated by Colour by Camille Walala
  8. Intoculai “The Light Snails” by Calidos
  9. Fragmented Appearances by Gertjan Adema
  10. We Could Meet by Martin Richman
  11. Elantica “The Boulder” by Tom&Lien Dekyvere
  12. You Exist, Here, Now by The Fandangoe Kid
  13. in[visible] by Daniel Popescu
  14. Out of the Dark by Tom Lambert
  15. Glories by Richard William Wheater
  16. Anima by ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering
  17. Toroid by This is Loop
  18. Lightbenches ‘Classic’  by LBO Lichtbank
  19. Emergence by This is Loop
  20. Fluorescent Firs
  21. Crystal Greenhouse by Shared Space and Light

Further reading –

ORGAN THING: Can you tell me where my country lies? The new Gazelle Twin and NYX album is here, Deep England’s electronic-choral expansion is, as expected, a triumph…

ORGAN THING: “Gazelle Twin & NYX present Deep England”, a performance film by film directors and artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, watch it here…

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