Monday, 23 January 2012

Brighter Mornings in Trafalgar Square!

Today I sit here writing this at a desk that overlooks Trafalgar Square. There, a huge, luminous orange sun installation is on display. It's what brought me here, and it made for a fantastic start to the day!

My journey started yesterday, coming all the way from the hills and valleys of South Wales to the bustling metropolis that is central London. The journey here was pleasant and quite straight-forwards, with the sun low in the sky creating a beautiful, crisp winter day.

I set off at 11am and got in just before 4pm, where a taxi was waiting to take me to my hotel. I had a lovely chat about all kinds of different things with my driver, and after making it through all the rush hour traffic and diversions I made it to the hotel safely.

I was able to check in while meeting and greeting some of the other faces that were also there for the installation and from various other blogs. I got up to my room and was so excited - it was huge! It really is fantastic and I have a wonderful view of the square and all the London buses and Taxi's going past. Big Ben is just around the corner and Chinatown is nearby, which I might head into later seeing as it's Chinese New Year!

I thought I might have trouble getting up, but I had no issue at all, thankfully. I slept rather lightly (I always seem to on the first night in a hotel) but I was extremely comfortable throughout. I kept checking outside my window after I got up for signs of how far along the installation was, and it went from not inflated to glowing in what felt like 10 minutes! It's huge - 22m in diameter, and very hard to miss if you're passing by the square. It has lots of circular lights that shine from within and fade in and out a bit like fairy lights, so it's quite relaxing to watch.

It came to be thanks to collaboration between Tropicana and their "Brighter Mornings" campaign and Greyworld, a collection of artists based in London. Their aim with this installation is to cheer people up during what is apparently one of the most miserable times of the year. I think they succeeded!

Tropicana spokesperson, Pete Charles, said: "Sunlight is something many of us crave mid-winter. We hope that this stunning art installation will both amaze and enthuse those who see it, whilst brightening their mornings on a miserable January day. We hope people will be able to come down, relax in our deck chairs and enjoy a glass of Tropicana whilst watching the spectacular sunrise. The perfect start to a January day."

Free Tropicana juice was being handed out to the public and deck chairs were set up in front of the glowing orb so people could take a seat and bask in the warm, mood boosting rays. 250,000 people are expected to see the unique installation throughout the day. Some have even turned up in summer clothes and swimming costumes! I took photos of them while all wrapped up in my furry hat and warm coat; it was pretty chilly out there!

The Trafalgar Sun took six months to create and is 30,000 times bigger than a football. It has a surface area of 200m and weighs over 2,500kgs. Its internal light source produces 4-million lumens of light, which is the equivalent of 60,000 light bulbs, making the artwork visible from space!

Andrew Shoben, founder of Greyworld said: "There are very few moments more spectacular and uplifting than watching an early morning sunrise. We have tried to capture the evocative nature of this natural phenomenon with the Trafalgar Sun, which has been unveiled to help boost the mood of those who experience our latest piece of public art."

If you haven't seen it yet and you're around London, head over to Trafalgar Square! The sun will be up all day until it sets at 7.33pm this evening. For those who wish they could come to see it but can't, here's a video of the sun rising this morning.

Have a good day, wherever you are!

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