Bompas and Parr turn River Lea green for Open East Festival

  • Bompas & Parr's river spectacle

    Bompas & Parr's river spectacle

  • Open East Festival

    Open East Festival

  • Open East Festival

    Open East Festival

  • Open East Festival

    Open East Festival

  • Open East Festival

    Open East Festival

  • Open East Festival

    Open East Festival

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Artists Bompas and Parr, renowned for their food art based on London venues, caused a stir at the weekend (27 and 28 July) as they turned the River Lea green for the Open East Festival at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The event, which attracted tens of thousands of visitors, was held to mark the opening of the Olympic Park for the first time since the London 2012 Olympics one year ago.

At 9.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, the festival culminated in Chromatopsia: A Water Symphony, accompanied by music from a glass harp.

Developed in collaboration with the Barbican, Create London, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust, the spectacle was created using fluorescein powder - a light-reactive dye administered by boats and emphasised by blue lighting.

Bompas and Parr worked with Professor John Girkin, director of Biophysical Sciences Institute at Durham University, in developing the technique and light response of the dye.

Sam Bompas of Bompas and Parr said: "The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park landscape is the inspiration for this interventionist artwork, a piece that highlights the natural beauty of one of its key focal points – the River Lea, with the green echoing the ecological credentials of the park."

Throughout the weekend guests were entertained by musicians from Columbia, The Congo, Jamaica and Mali, who joined local performers including the Hackney Colliery Band.

Meanwhile BMX stunt riders demonstrated their skills against the backdrop of the velodrome, and Sacrilege, a life-size bouncy-castle replica of Stonehenge provided entertainment for all ages.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who attended the event, said: "Our cultural celebrations added to the magic of the London 2012 Games and the fabulous line up at Open East is another high point for this summer's events in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. With great music, live performance, good food, as well a few surprises, it shows the promise of the park as a future destination for Londoners and tourists alike."

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