Bompas & Parr


The River Lea was dyed a spectacular emerald green to celebrate its place at the centre of London's newest park.

A sense of enchantment and wonder in a public space

London, 2013: Chromatopsia: A Water Symphony, was commissioned as a grand finale to highlight the River Lea as the centrepiece of the launch event for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Chromatopsia explores themes of light, sound, colour, liquid and movement and celebrates the river’s place at the heart of the capital's newest park.

Visitors were first enchanted by the hypnotic sound of music from a Glass Harp, drawing together contributions by the public recorded throughout the day. It provided the perfect accompaniment to the centrepiece installation – the river dyed a spectacular emerald green, ensuring that it was central to people’s memories of the park's launch.

The installation was developed in collaboration with the Barbican, Create London and the London Legacy Development Corporation, with full consultation and approval from the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust. In particular, Bompas & Parr worked closely with Professor John Girkin, Director of Biophysical Sciences Institute at Durham University, in developing a safe, light-reactive dye administered by boats and designed to react to blue lighting.

The spectacle was introduced with a voiceover from then Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Photography by Nathan Pask.