A Water Symphony: the River Lea turned emerald green - London, July 2013

← Back More ↓


Chromatopsia: A Water Symphony, was commissioned as a grand finale to highlight the river as the unique centre of the Park and ensure that the river is central to people’s memories of the event. It created an incredible image of the River Lea, drawing attention to this spectacular space.

The commission by artists Bompas & Parr saw the River Lea turned emerald green at 9.30pm on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July. Festival goers were surprised by the hypnotic soundscape of water music from a Glass Harp, drawing together contributions by the public recorded throughout the day, which provided the perfect accompaniment to the glowing emerald green river running through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The spectacle was introduced with a voice over from the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The commission was created using a combination of safe light reactive dye administered by boats and in conjunction with blue lighting. Chromatopsia explores themes of light, sound, colour, liquid and movement and celebrates the river’s place at the heart of London’s newest park.

Chromatopsia was developed in collaboration with the Barbican, Create London and the London Legacy Development Corporation with full consultation with, and approval from, the regulatory authorities the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust. Bompas & Parr worked closely with Professor John Girkin, Director of Biophysical Sciences Institute at Durham University, in developing the technique and light response of the dye.

Photography by Nathan Pask