Presenting light and sound installation 'Evanescent' at the Leadenhall Building

Giant bubbles land in London: Temporary art installation Evanescent from Sydney-based ‘art-chitects’ brings light to the City.

CGI rendering of Evanescent outside of the Leadenhall Building © Atelier Sisu 

This Blue Monday, 16 January, clusters of giant iridescent bubbles will land in London, bringing joy, colour, and light to some of the darker months of the year. Evanescent is a free, outdoor sound and light installation which comes to London for the first time, having premiered in Melbourne, Australia. It will bloom against the iconic Leadenhall Building in the east of the City of London, for the public to enjoy until mid-February.

Evanescent is 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.

Evanescent means the quality of being fleeting or vanishing quickly: impermanence. This immersive environment aims to capture that concept in a visual form: the bubble. The shimmering inflatable domes will be gathered in clusters of four, reaching 7.5m high, and positioned in the west area of the public realm beneath The Leadenhall Building 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 a unique picture from every angle. With the striking backdrop of this dominant City landmark – nicknamed ‘The Cheesegrater’ – the installation will encourage the public to see their city in a new light.

With its bright colours and striking appearance, Evanescent aims to draw visitors to the Leadenhall Building to fight the post-holiday blues, socialise in the City and support Londoners and visitors to the area as the cold weather and cost of living crisis start to bite.

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 kind 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. Visit the BID website for full details.

 Renzo B. Larriviere and Zara Pasfield of Atelier Sisu, said: “The artwork was inspired during the Covid-19 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: “In the midst of a cost of living crisis and the darkest, coldest months of the year, Evanescent will bring uplifting free art to the heart of the City and with it a hopeful sense of wonder for thousands of Londoners. 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”

Kate Hart, CEO of the EC BID, said: A recent survey revealed that in London 18% 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.

Click here for an audio description of EvanescentFind out more about our RECHARGE campaign