Giant colour-changing bubbles take over The Cheesegrater in London to bring joy to the city
A challenging cost of living crisis combined with wintry weather might dampen spirits, but Sydney collective Atelier Sisu is lighting up London with a free glass bubble installation.
Bubbles make everyone happy; that's a fact. From children to adults alike, it's difficult not to fall into the magic that exists within a multi-coloured transparent bubble as it floats through the air. Knowing this and considering the uninspiring nature of January, Sydney-based design studio Atelier Sisu has graced London with a free outdoor sound and light installation titled Evanescent.
Led by award-winning artists Renzo B. Larriviere and Zara Pasfield – who, between them, are renowned for creating large-scale and enchanting site-specific works within the intersection of art and architecture – the duo brought light to London with a cluster of giant iridescent bubbles. Giving rise to the fleeting and impermanent quality of evanescent, the immersive environment set up against east London's Leadenhall Building reimagines the bubble up close.
The shimmering inflatable domes are gathered in clusters of four, each reaching 7.5m high so visitors can move under and around them. Made from a colour-reflecting dichroic film that reacts to changing sunlight, the bubble experience will continue to morph throughout the day and create rainbow reflections as the light changes.
Set against London's iconic skyline and The Cheesegrater building in particular, Atelier Sisu hope that the installation will encourage the public to see their city in a new light, particularly as the winter weather and cost of living crisis continue to bite.
"The artwork was inspired during the Covid-19 pandemic when the world stopped, and everything we took for granted started to disappear," says Renzo B. Larriviere and Zara Pasfield of Atelier Sisu. "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."
Commissioned by Eastern City Business Improvement District (EC BID) and delivered by FESTIVAL.ORG, the Evanescent installation forms part of the 'Recharge' campaign (launched through EC BID in January 2023) which aims to improve the mental health and well-being of city workers struggling during a quieter than usual January.
"Evanescent will bring uplifting free art to the heart of the City and with it a hopeful sense of wonder for thousands of Londoners," says Bradley Hemmings, founder and artistic director of FESTIVAL.ORG.
"As we all work to 'recharge' London's renaissance, we're taking action to celebrate the City and to support the well-being of visitors, workers, and residents," agrees Kate Hart, CEO of the EC BID. "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."
Having premiered in Melbourne and Sydney last year, Evanescent will against the Leadenhall Building until mid-February. To find out more about Atelier Sisu, visit its website at ateliersisu.com.