Feature: Dazzling light show on London’s South Bank

Tony Grew March 6, 2007
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Lightstrokes, a free exhibition at the Oxo Tower’s Bargehouse, is a visually stunning new installation – with an unforgettable drag twist.

The old industrial space has been transformed by the conceptual artist Bern Bowers and his alter-ego Ms Ivana Ivanavich.

Alonside the light installations, Ivana performs seven times a day, her 60 minute show of fun, frolic, shock and horror designed to engage with the audience.

Ivana is raconteur, agony aunt, dominatrix and spiritualist who delights, instructs and preys on the unsuspecting as she flounces, storms and stomps in the form of her deftly light-crafted shoes.

Bowers explains: “The gay community has always been at the forefront of the creative industries – fashion, style and artistic movements.

“Here with my new light installations, I hope to keep up the long tradition and go where no one has gone before.

“I am honoured to have this wonderful opportunity to share my take on our rose-tinted world in this absolute cavernous setting over three floors.”

‘IVANA – Cabaret in Light’ is just one attraction in a line-up of 30 unusual installations set over three floors at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf on London’s South Bank.

“The chance to have 15,000sq ft of cavernous space in the heart of London all to oneself to showcase a diversity of my own work must be one of the greatest dreams of any artist,” said Bowers.

The collection sets out his vision that seeks to shift away from accepted definitions of art by embracing a combination of media to arrive at something completely fresh.

Many of the light installations, which are for sale, use layering to re-examine iconic images from The Mona Lisa to Marilyn Monroe.

Lightstrokes is at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 until 25th March 2007

The general exhibition is free and is open daily Monday to Sunday, from 11am to 8pm.

Due to space limitations however only 20 free tickets are available for each Ivana performance.

To secure tickets go to

Performance times for Ivana are: 11.30am, 12.45pm, 2pm, 3.15pm, 4.30pm, 5.45pm and 7pm.

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