Trafalgar Sun by Greyworld [Public Art]

24 Jan , 2012  

'Trafalgar Sun' installation by Greyworld, Trafalgar Square, London WC2

The sun had set 20 minutes earlier and the Number 24 bus lumbered up Whitehall towards a glow­ing orange ball of fire burn­ing just behind Nelson’s Column. The new Sun was cour­tesy of Greyworld who seemed to think that a 2500kg bal­loon con­sum­ing 210kW in order to emit 4-mil­lion lumens of sodium-dis­charge light, for one day only, would add a cheer­ful spark to (stat­ist­ic­ally) the most depress­ing day of the year.

I asked them, ‘Why on earth did you do it?’

Creating the Trafalgar Sun was an excit­ing pro­ject for grey­world. Our work is all about pub­lic space, and it’s poten­tial for unex­pec­ted joy. Add the wintry set­ting, and we just had to make ourselves a Sun.”
Andrew Shoben at

And these videos show what happened:

The Sun was switched on at dawn and still looked pretty cheer­ful when I get there after work in the even­ing. The deck­chairs were get­ting filled up and there seemed to be an awful lot of people just hanging around talk­ing to each other.
Goodness, I think these chaps may be onto some­thing…

Date: Monday 23<sup class="ordinal">rd</sup> January 2012. Project: Trafalgar Sun. Artist: Greyworld, a group of artists that create public art. Client: Tropicana. Words & pictures: Ken Sparkes. All Rights Reserved

There is some talk of tour­ing the install­a­tion — where do you think it should go?

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