Illumini Event 2012

Quick links or scroll down the page

Info about Illumini Event 2012
Program of Events 2012
Visual Artists for Illumini Event 2012
Performance Artists for Illumini Event 2012
Guest Comments for Illumini Event 2012
Gallery Illumini Event 2012
Sponsors for Illumini Event 2012

Presents Dickensian Hauntings
Supported by the National Lottery, through the arts council England

Illumini Event 2012 attracted over 9,000 visitors and was held in an underground location in London. The old rustic subterranean dark labyrinth, with its many rooms, alleyways and cells was transformed by over 50 artists, prop makers and performers, with Illuminating art, props and historical information, re-creating the secrets of a Victorian London.

Illumini Dickensian Hauntings event by curator Jane Webb

They’re back again with more secret subterranean explorations of the city. Illumini will take you on a journey of Victorian haunting’s, explore the dark side of a city long forgotten ,take torch light tours beneath the haunted streets of the city.

To celebrate Charles Dickens’ 200th Anniversary, Illumini will take you back to a Victorian London. The Victorians excelled at telling ghost stories. In an age of rapid scientific progress, the idea of a dark past and terror that is able to reach out and violate the present fascinated them. Like many Victorians, Dickens was fascinated by ghosts and death, haunted by the supernatural, fairies and telepathic encounters, occult religions and the idea of reincarnation.

Visit the Dickensian wardrobe, try on the fashions of the times, or discover the drugs and poisons at the Victorian pharmacy. Discover the long-forgotten hidden secrets of your city. What tube stations do you use –are they haunted? What about your local pub – any spirits of the supernatural kind?

The event will start with a grand opening night with free entertainment; where everyone is welcome. Live acts: stilt walkers, light shows, magicians, illuminating dancers, tarot reading ; travel back in time with historical costumed performers, and much more.

Program of Events

Historical Talks, Performances, Tours & Walks

During the event there will be free talks, performances and evenings of ghost stories by a number of special guests: authors, historians,paranormal experts, performers and museum specialists. In addition there will be guided subterranean tours about the secrets hidden beneath

Ghost Stories Talks & Performances

‘The strange sites and stranger sights of haunted London’ Sat 29th Sept 6pm Free @ Illumini Event Shoreditch Town Hall

Richard Holland, former editor of Paranormal Magazine and current editor of popular website Uncanny UK, highlights some of the most interesting and less well-known haunted locations he found while developing his SmartPhone app Ghost Finder London. Richard will also describe some of the weirdest and scariest ghosts he learnt about while carrying out his research.

‘Dr Knox and the Widow Baker’ Sat 29 th Sept 7pm Free
@ Illumini Event Shoreditch Town Hall Basement

Aardvark Productions presents: A Gruesome Twosome, complete with their handcart of body parts tell the grisly tale of Victorian Bodysnatchers. An interactive horror story lasting about 20 minutes suitable for all ages

Birgitta Hosea will be performing ‘Medium’ live at the following times: Thursday 27th: 6-6.45, 7-7.45, 8-8.45 and Saturday 29th: 6-6.45, 7.30-7.45, 8-8.45 Thursday 4th: 6-6.45, 7-7.45. Video documentation of the piece will play at all other times.

Inspired by Victorian spirit photographs, this tableau vivant will explore the ghostly nature of film. Taking the role of a techno-medium, Birgitta Hosea will channel messages from dead actresses captured on film and from disembodied radio signals. These messages will be manifested through her multiple video doubles and live projections of automatic writing, ectoplasmic drawing and animation.

From beyond the Grave – ghostly messages from the dead. Sat 29th 8 pm Free @ Illumini Event Shoreditch Town Hall Basement

Rosie Murdie Ghost Investigator talks about how ghosts are featured in many of Charles Dickens novels. Throughout his life Dickens had a fascination with ghosts and was one of the first members of the Ghost Club, which is formed in 1862 study the paranormal. The Victorian era also saw the rise of the spiritualist movement with mediums purporting to receive messages from the dead. But can the dead really communicate with us and is there any evidence that these messages are genuine?

‘ Brunel’s First and Last Projects: Haunted Tunnel, Haunted Ship ‘ Talk on Sat 29 th Sept 9 pm Free @ Illumini Event Shoreditch Town Hall Basement , then the party move onto the tour at Brunel Museum to see the tunnels grand entrance hall

Brunel was a triumphant engineer. His Tunnel is the oldest tunnel in the oldest metro system in the world ,but six men died in the Tunnel. Robert Hulse, Director of The Brunel Museum, tells the story of a remarkable haunting and afterwards leads the party by to see the ghostly arches of the underwater fair before a careful descent into the secret underground chamber where the six men drowned.

Magic Lantern show- Victorian humour on Victorian moving slides Thurs 4th Oct 6pm Free @ Illumini Event Shoreditch Town Hall Basement

Aileen Butler presents: Victorian humour was slap-stick, politically incorrect (nowadays!) and maybe not now humourous at all! Come and judge for yourselves at a show of genuine Victorian moving slides projected on a Victorian magic lantern! Magic lantern shows were their entertainment; let it be yours at 6 pm on thurs 4th Oct.

A Victorian Ghost Story. Thurs 4th Oct 7pm Free @ Illumini Event Shoreditch Town Hall Basement

When not conquering far flung places or building important things the Victorians liked nothing better than sitting by the fire and listening to a good old spooky story. Charlotte Coates invites you a lo-tech reading of a genuinely spine chilling story, an unpleasant tale that will leave you feeling unnerved and discombobulated. Charlotte will prove that you don’t need CGI or 3d or anything fancy to get a fright – your imagination and dark room are all that’s required.

‘Is this the face of Jack the Ripper’ Thurs 4th Oct 8pm @ Illumini Event Shoreditch Town Hall. Free

Jenny Phillips Is this what the face of Jack the Ripper looked like? Was he a local man or a visitor to the area? How did he manage to evade capture when surely he must have been noticeably bloodstained? What would happen if this crime occurred today, would he still evade capture? Why is he called Jack not Edward Thomas or Harold the Ripper? Would you like to know the answer to these and other questions?

‘Ghosts of Britain and Ireland’ Thurs 4th Oct 9pm
Free @ Illumini Event Shoreditch Town Hall Basement

Richard Jones takes you on a journey through the spectral places of Britain and Ireland. Ghost hunter and author Richard Jones takes you to some of the most haunted places of this spectred realm and tells the stories of the ghosts that have been seen there. chilling, fascinating and amusing in equal measure this talk will open your eyes to the darker side of Britain.

Tours & Walks

The Story of Dickens (Walk) Fri 28th Sept 11 am Free

Brian Cookson: Hear the story of Charles Dickens’s life as we walk through areas of London frequented by himself and his characters. We start where the young David Copperfield worked in a factory, based on Dickens’s own experience. On our way we explore Fleet Street and its alleyways, ending up at the Inns of Court, home of the lawyers who are so often lampooned in his novels.

Pirates of Execution Dock (Ghost Walk) Fri 28th Sept, 19:30 & Monday 1st Oct, 19:30 , Tuesday 2nd Oct, 19:30 – Free

A guided ghost tour by Boo Tours, of London’s East End riverside. Includes haunted gallows, ledgendary pirate tales, scary monsters and Dickens’ pubs!

Meet outside Shadwell Overground/DLR Station Watney Street E1 2PH

Special event: Sat 29th Sept & Sun 30th Sept Tours of the Grand Entrance Hall of The Thames Tunnel

Crawl through a short tunnel to descend by temporary staircase into a ghostly chamber , half the size of Shakespeare’s Globe, but hidden underground. This forgotten subterranean amphitheatre is where six people lost their lives and from which Brunel barely escaped. Illumini will present artists Jojo Taylor (Sculpture) & Jane Webb (Sound) with an installation entitled ‘Six Hundred Feet, Six Dead’. Their interpretation – not for the faint hearted! – is a death rictus in glass coffins, smoke, coruscating lights and visceral sound installation.

Tour of West Norwood Catacombs by Friends of West Norwood Cemetery Sat 29th Sept & Sun 30th Sept @ 10 am.

The original design of the cemetery included an Anglican mortuary chapel (now demolished).  The catacombs beneath the site remain intact.  Visitors will be able to see a series of brick vaults supported on brick walls and piers.  The layout is regular and symmetrical and consists of a tall central gallery and 6 corridors at right angles to the gallery to the North and South that give access to the vaults containing approximately 2,500 coffins. 

Prison Cells in Viaduct Tavern Cellars Free to customers only during Illumini Event.

The Viaduct has an exciting history – it sits on the site of the Giltspur Comptor, a debtors’ jail affiliated to Newgate Prison, and five of the original cells are still visible in the cellar and said to be haunted. Originally it was built as a gin palace and much of the Victorian style is still displayed. Only access as part of the Illumini Event.

Jack the Ripper Walk Wed 3rd Oct 8 pm

Jack the Ripper, was he a local man or a visitor to the area? How did he manage to evade capture when surely he must have been noticeably bloodstained as many homeless were wandering the streets at night? What would happen if this crime occurred today, would he still evade capture? Why is he called Jack not Edward Thomas or Harold the Ripper? Would you like to know the answer to these and other questions you may have on this gruesome fascinating character? If so book a walk with Jenny Phillips for one night only in conjunction with the Illumini Event 2012

Visual Artist for Illumini 2012

JANE WEBB Founder/Curator

‘Necropolis of Science Fiction’

An installation of hand crafted tombstones and coffins. A silk lined casket with the corpse of a humanoid robot, showing you the birth of Science Fiction in the Victorian era. The period of modern science, technology, and science fiction, which began with the Industrial Revolution. Rapid technological changes, that we take for granted today, started over 200 years ago.


‘The Great Stink’
One of the greatest engineering achievements of the Victorian era lies hidden under the streets of modern London – the sewerage system designed by Joseph Bazalgette. 82 miles of brick sewers were constructed to intercept the 13,000 miles of local sewers that used to discharge into the River Thames. They were an essential foundation for transformation of the city from a primitive, stinking and unhealthy place to live and work into today’s modern metropolis.


‘By whom committed
Installation addresses the Victorian values and principles of criminality during such times when small offences were incredibly harsh. Children, as well as the elderly often frequented London prisons. There they would have to endure days, months of deprivation and hardship. Using birdcages represents confined spaces and entrapment that many prisoners would have felt in these situations. Prison records from this era give clear details about this inhumane and unjustly existence.


‘Perish Prosper & Co’
Acrylic paint on Canvas. The shop is based on the idea of past lives that have left their imprint. The Shop sign is a play on two surnames of completely opposite circumstance. Time has allowed it to perish and fade where once it would have prospered.


‘Where is my master ? ‘
It’s a little story, the dog close to the door is looking for his master and every night he used to go to the chemist . That’s the last place where he saw his master .  He really doesn’t know that now the man is a ghost but one day maybe he will talk to him.
The dog  comes back every night waiting and the ghost travels around London looking for his dog. 


“The Death of Julia Thomas”
“In October 2010 a human skull was found in the garden of Sir David Attenborough. The unearthing of the skull concluded the investigation into the 1879 murder of Julia Thomas.  A fascinated Victorian gruesome case, where the missing skull was never traced – until now.  Kate Webster was found guilty of murder, and hanged in July 1879. “


‘Light Reading’
Her use of neon glass tubes and found objects. The pieces contain great relevance. One been subject specific (Charles Dickens Signature and quotes) and the other having deep connotations with Victorian obsession with electricity and amazing spectacles coupled with the use of literature fit perfectly into this years theme.


‘The Skull Kollector’
Joss Carter AKA ‘THE SKULL KOLLECTOR’, delves into the beautifully dark and twisted glorification of death. An unsettling fascination of the beauty within the macabre as he exhibits his personal collection of skulls acquired over the past two years.


‘Venice’ (Inside the Haunted Tavern)
Velvet curtains were traditionally used in Victorian pubs in either red, green or blue. The red velvet skin of the curtain should look like a continual churning of hands and faces, reaching and fighting for a space beyond that it possesses. This piece is constructed out of reused material and a lot of patience.


‘Black Mirror’
Dr John Dee, was a mathematician, astrologer, and magician who worked as Elizabeth I’s astrologer. Dee was much interested in optics and optical mirrors, and the one he used (which is now in the British Museum) is highly polished obsidian and was brought back from Mexico by Cortés after his conquest of the Aztecs. It was later referred to as ‘the Devil’s looking glass’. In Victorian times there was a revival of interest in magic and occult knowledge, inspired particularly through the work of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.


An installation exploring the inner recesses of the mind. The box is often used as an analogy to describe a closed space in the mind where secrets and fears are stored. In hypnotherapy the box can be suggested as a place to contain and therefore control unwelcome thoughts and overwhelming emotions.


‘Tsunami Over The River Thames’
During the 1800’s, the River Thames was visibly polluted. This was in part due to the waste generated in large quantities by the Industrial Revolution, compounded by an undeveloped sewer system. At times the Thames produced an unbearable stench.


Mutoscope is a steam-punk, handle-turning, proto-cinematic device, enabling the user to control a kaleidoscopic vision of biological life. This work, made by Genetic Moo, draws influence from Magic Lantern shows and Victorian phantasmagorical spectacles. Through flickering motion the inanimate is conjured into existence like a ghostly digital spectre.


‘Victorian Children’ Emmeline a professional costume maker, will be creating Dickensian children’s costumes for the Illumini Event. Have you ever wondered what clothes were worn in the Victorian era, come along to the Victorian Wardrobe at the Illumini Event and try on some Victorian classics.


‘Veins of Vanity’
For the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens I have chosen to show ‘Veins of Vanity’, an ethereal, ghost-like and sensual piece, cast in optical glass. As a conceptual take on life casting, it offers new signifiers for the transience of life and its luxuries. Aesthetically, it alludes to the Victorian era, as the corset marks invite the viewer to think about the health harms caused by tight lacing, a practice that became popular in the 1840s and 1850s.


The work takes its inspiration from Dickens ‘Hard Times’- a novel which focuses on a family bound by rationalism and fact, prohibited from engaging in creative, imaginative or emotional pursuits.


Inspired by Victorian spirit photographs, this tableau vivant will explore the ghostly nature of film. Taking the role of a techno-medium, Birgitta Hosea will channel messages from dead actresses captured on film and from disembodied radio signals. These messages will be manifested through her multiple video doubles and live projections of automatic writing, ectoplasmic drawing and animation.


‘Funeral Parlour Mirror’
The funeral parlour mirror has an old faded grandness about it, when you look into the mirror you see your reflection, however when it gets dark the candelabra lights up along with the trapped heart crystal from behind the mirror giving the light a ghostly feel.


‘Victorian Lanterns’
Victorian old gas street lamps, which had to be lit by hand every evening. In 1878 Electric street lighting began in London, replacing the old lanterns however this was only in the wealthy areas . The victorian shape lantern can still be seen today in many old parts of towns and cities and especially outside pubs.

Artist & Designer Taryn Koers is creating Victorian street lamps for the Illumini Event.


‘The Minds I’
The projects name “The minds ‘I’ deals with introspective ideas and problems, spirituality and a search of the unknown and aims to express these qualities visually. The visual aesthetic of all the images are Victorian-esque and the themes running through each image individually are also influenced and represented by the era.


‘Ghosts Revisited’
Inspired by the ghost stories of Dickens and others, and the Victorian’s love of the supernatural, I will revisit my Ghosts theme, creating “ghosts” from bygone eras.

Modern sightings of Victorian era ghosts, such as the one caught on Google Street View cameras, have also inspired me to add a modern twist to some of my images.


‘The Experiment’
The quick and the dead mortal flesh and bone with benign fleeting soul composed grief-stricken structure. I doth require your disengaged frame, your relinquished mould before this beautiful perfection mingles moist turf and oak and throwes of graveyard soil.


My art work is concerned with the way we experience different layers of reality. I am inspired by the unknown, by dreams and nightmares, the lasting effect of childhood perceptions, ancient folklore and epic myth, the brutality of fairytales and all things ethereal.


‘Dickens Manuscript’
As part of Dickens 2012 these paintings are a result of case studies in the V&A book conservation department and the Dickens Museum. 


Primary concerns within my art work are memories and perceptions, spanning from the personal to the universal and examination of our various ways of coping and making sense of our existence. My work often has an element of history or storytelling. The site specific installations often respond to the history of the site and explore the idea of what “site specific memories”, – ghosts, might still linger in the air.


‘Miss Havisham
Is one of Dickens’ most enduring characters. Lucy Sparrow has paid homage to one of the most enduring scenes of her decaying bridal feast by recreating the table and everything on it in textiles. Luxurious mohair cobwebs, bejeweled and sequin encrusted food, buds and tableware has turned the most sinister sight of decay into a thing of beauty. Unlike the rotten wedding cake this fabric feast will always be a thing of beauty.’


‘Memento Mori ‘
Death is recognised as a universal human experience that effects everyone regardless of race, gender or class. It is a reminder that our time on this planet is only fleeting and is an inevitable event that we cannot escape. I am interested in exploring the concept of death as it becomes a way in which I can confront the understanding of my own mortality.


‘The Lost and The Found’
For some staunch believers, the idea that our souls live on eternally after our body dies and reincarnates into a new body, is a given. It is said that a thin veil separates the earth’s dimension from that of ‘the other side’, our real home, the one where we come from and where we return to after each of our lifetimes on earth has elapsed.

Although we may be temporarily lost to our loved ones on earth, we are found and reunited with the other spirits we have known through many lifetimes. The Lost and The Found is inspired by this cyclical spiritual journey and the imprints, memories and energy we leave behind, along with our earthly possessions.


‘The Dead Train’
The Vaults under London Bridge station, was once the waiting room for the dead. The Necropolis Railway, carried coffins to the final destination. Nik Vaughn a professional mural painter, will create a new piece of work, a scene that, takes you back to an average day of death, on The Necropolis Railway.


‘The Ghost of the Brides Chamber’
The ghost of the brides chamber- Charles Dickens
‘ Now die! I have done with you!’ The verbal torture that Ellen endured at the hand of her evil husband is depicted within her wedding dress. The ropes and chains crushing and suffocating her spirit causing her soul to degenerate and eventually die.

JANE WEBB (Founder/Curator)

‘The Haunted Rocking Chair’
The Woman in Black a late Victorian ghost story written by Susan Hill in 1983, adapted into a stage play in 1987 more recently in 2012, a movie. The rocking chair plays an important part. We see the chair and hear the terrible creaking throughout the play and know it’s located behind a locked door. In the film the rocking chair helped the Woman in Black to commit suicide, by her standing on it in order to hang herself.

Illumini Event Photographers


Photographer for Illumini
Nick is a self-taught photographer, living in London. He has interests in art photography, portraiture, architecture/urban space, street photography, music and events. Illumini is delighted to have Nick produce some amazing photography at the event and looking forward to working with this talented photographer.


Photographer for Illumini
Wonkeyborders has been photographing Illumini Events as a guest, for a couple of years. We are now very delighted to have them as part of the team. A talented London-based photographer working in digital and traditional 35mm and medium format. Who particularly love’s people-watching.


Photographer for Illumini
A strong member of Illumini’s photography team Betty, is a graduate in Social Communications (journalism), an experienced journalist and currently a photography student at the City of Westminster College in London. I am culture-curious. I shoot almost anything and everything that allows me to capture the feel and the uniqueness of the places I have seen or travelled to.



Volunteer Artist
Illumini is pleased to have Laura as part of the Illumini team for Illumini Event 2012. Laura’s skills will be of a valuable asset to the team.

An artist herself that works in clay as her main medium, currently reproducing a combination of opposing views in one sculpture; man and the natural world.

Performance Artists


‘The Headless French Aristocrat.”
What is his story and how did he loose his head? Ask him if you dare but he may have a few surprises for you!


‘Charles Dickens’
The world-famous Mr Dickens is gracing us with his presence. Meet him and help him recreate some famous scenes from his novels or just watch an extravagant performance of an extract from the Great Man himself!


A walkabout character in search of body parts from likely looking characters to add to her collection. You have something to sell? You need to replace something? She’s the person to see! Complete with sound system to create impromptu dance ‘events!’


‘They come after dark’
The Victorian era was a time when society was tightly controlled and  behavior outlined in specific detail – a very repressed world. As with all things that appear clean cut on the surface, it’s not uncommon to imagine that there is something seething just below. Drawing on their love of the gothic, Ahnemom have created a vampire inspired walkabout piece especially for Illumini.


‘Queen Victoria’
Her majesty Queen Victoria, will be Illumini’s special guest. when she heard about the Dickensian Ghost event she could not resist, being a fan of Charles Dickens and having a morbid interest in the paranormal, including trying to communicate with her dead husband, Prince Albert.


‘illuminated juggling’
The Circus Company are back for Illumini 2012, with their amazing light shows, that will dazzle and amaze you with their glow performances, illuminated juggling, contact ball, diablo and much more.


‘Tarot reading”
Creator of The Intuitive Tarot, Cilla Conway, will be reading tarot on the opening night. Tarot has a long and interesting past in Victorian London. In the early 1900s, Arthur Waite, arch-magician Aleister Crowley, and other members of The Golden Dawn met regularly in the basement of Atlantis Bookshop in Holborn.


‘Crystal Ghost’
The Crystal Ghost is Chris Brown, an internationally renowned contact juggler. For Illumini he will amaze you with his juggling skills.


‘Arcanum Magick- from the Darkside’
Storyteller, Magician, Mindreader & Hypnotist, Dr John unravels the intricacies of our souls, and beguiles us with the mysterious confoundery of the Magicians art. His style is unconventional, and his character comes straight from the archives of Victorian melodrama – but these are not parlour games . . oh no.


‘Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde’
Take a step into a dark mirror of shadows for every good an evil. Doctor Harold Jekyll, renowned scientist and respected gentleman, creating the cure to every negative side of human nature with the belief that if one could separate ourselves. From the demons of the mind we could be pure. But what he found was the distillation of all that is wrong, Diabolical and evil, from this idea Mr Edward Hyde was born. Both share a body but with minds a life time Apart.


‘Victorian Painting’
Live stone statue who will meet and greet you . A Unique performance set inside a Picture Frame. The Self portrait of a Victorian Artist artist comes to life, when guests walk past.


‘Victorian Quack Doctor’
The Doctor, a man of great medical learning, will have available many of his new wonder cures, including his new patent tabloids, miracle remedies and the elixir of life itself. For those of an impecunious nature, or those suffering temporary financial embarrassments, Dr Gripenerve is happy to arrange liberal terms with a local loan office Dr Gripenerve assures intending patients that those who accuse him of fraudulent claims at Quackery are simply Harley Street physicians jealous of his great medical knowledge.


‘Miss Havershams Ghost’
Lori Hopkins is a puppet-maker and performer specialising in devised performance. For Dickensian Hauntings, she has created a new puppet, the ghost of Miss Havisham from Great Expectations. The tragic spinster’s ghost is doomed to walk the earth desperately seeking a lover. In an amusing, interactive walkabout performance, see Lori bring Miss Havisham’s ghost to life as a muppet-style lip-sync puppet.


‘Mrs Lovett’
“Mrs Lovett officially makes the worst pies in London! Witness for yourself her gory baking skills that truly are bad to the ‘bone’ as she runs through her list of ingredients, she may even offer a few samples of her baking skills… But you’d better hope she’s got enough meat for her pies that are truly ‘flesh’ from the oven…” 


‘Even Charles Would Chuckle’
 I have decided to come back from the past of when I was born in 1819, a great time! My name is Michelle Laing, but you may call me Miss Wellgroomed! I am a professional weirdo, artist, poet and performer. Charlie, or Dicky, as we sometimes called him, was a close friend of mine. He would nurture my sense of humour and my satirical wit as I, like him, am a writer of sorts, I am a poet. I will delight you with my highbrow humour and well-groomed wise cracking. O the gems I have in store for you!


‘Miss Havisham’
Catrin Osborne magically brings to life one of Dickens most inspired creations who went on to become one of the most loved characters in literature. Miss Haversham is a fully interactive experience, who can transport the public into her dust filled house of stopped clocks and spider infested cakes.


‘The Ladies of light’
The Ladies of Light  are an enchanting, dancing and illuminating promenade performance. They mysteriously glide through the space, summoning and collecting the lost sprites of the underworld before returning them to their rightful resting grounds.


The Undertaker II
Artist & performer Simon Rogers. Be warned he is looking for prospective clients and discreetly taking measurements for coffins.


‘The Undertaker’
Over 7Ft tall undertaker imerges from the vaults. Be warned he is looking for prospective clients and discreetly taking measurements for coffins.


Glow costumed Performer with an amazing light show. You will find The Glowman hidden inside the dark Victorian subterranean depths of Illumini, where he will come to life with an rhythm glow performance.


The Unusualist
He calls himself “The Unusualist” because his magic, far from being associated with all the ‘choose a card any card’ clichés, is something more profound. It’s free from the shackles of conventional tricks and is about creating the impossible with anything to hand. Your wedding ring could end up in a light bulb under a lampshade; you children’s pet Goldfish could swim out of your £50 note; or a word that you are thinking of can be found engraved on a walnut…inside an egg!


LED Light Performance

Energetic choreographed light show. Stunning illuminated solo hula hoop performance with an LED colour changing hoop.

Tiina is a circus art performer, specialising in hula-hoops and hand balancing and is also a member of Hoop La La, a hula-hoop performing trio who hold a Guinness World Record in professional circus performance.


Tommaso is one of the UK’s top male contortionist and will be performing at Dickensian Haunting, with his sensational twist and bends where he leaves you amazed with his skills.

Guest Comments for Illumini Event 2012

Comments left by guests

The world needs to know about Illumini…… Out of this world well done Jane

Interesting and Very Good – June Playforth

I am now an Illumini fan, we should start a fan club! These guys rock, each event gets better and better- Joe

My 2nd visit and I still think I want to come back again. Amazing!

It’s amazing, amazing, AMAZING!!!!!!- Lnysey Walker

Thrilling spooky experience! – Danielle le Marais

Loved it, as soon as you walk in the door, your transformed back in time, great sound effects- Marie

My first time at Illumini! A good experience imaginative work- Hilda


My friends seemd to know all about Illumini, dont know where the hell I have been I didnt, but now I totally get it! Best experience I have had in a long time and free as well- Thanx – Gillian Brooks

The best exhibition I have ever seen- Jess

Illumini never disappoints always the best event of the year. Well done again

Loved the scarry performance by Birgitta

Best curated show I have ever seen


Loved the lights so beautiful- Sue Howard

Absolutely wonderfull. the imagaination is mind blowing. Well done!- Elizabeth Davies

Amazing Venue

I loved the spooky Rocking Chair by Jane Webb

So proud to have been part of this amazing event

What a amazing experience. Cant wait to tell everyone about it. Never seen art displayed in this way before. Unique and trully amazing event!

Just wanted to drop you a quick email to say thank you for organising such a great event. I went on a couple of the tours and loved the exhibition, amazing imagination

Well Done! great show . Will let everyone know, to come down! Lots of talent- Corrina Eastwood

My Fav was Miss Havershams room so cool

Perfection even to the finest detail – Joseph B

Fabulous- Beautiful & very unusual exhibition- Jane & Nick

Loved the creepy sound installations around the venue.

The opening night was amazing, best free night out I have ever had, so many performers and really freindly staff. I came back again to spend more time reading all the info on the walls very well put together. I never read info in a museum, normally bores me but this is so cool and done so well. Thank You – Brian Simpson

The Curtain in the pub was haunting! – Holly

I wish I had dressed up, had no idea it was going to be this good, please add me to your mailing list- Jackie

Normally hate art events but this is so cool. More more more please.

Imaginative, creative, atmospheric & enjoyable. A sensory experience and a great way to enjoy art. Best wishes Matt

Im speachless ! When is the next one- Karen

A great night, Unique Special & Superb. A true hidden gem. – Senia Moriy

Totally cool – Ella aged 8

Rocking chair was a clever installation, also liked the bugs crawling out the wall in the large room and loved all the props especially the lamp posts.

A bit scary But great fun- Sophie aged 12

Brilliant work Jane! All the hard works paid off, for sure!! Will be back to be spooked some more.

The most fabulous evening I have ever had, thrilling, innovative- Darren Collins

Awsome ! – Maria aged 9

Thrilled me- Charles Dickens (someone with a good sense of humour)

Very good and interesting- Hannah Johnson

I thought the tombstones were real. Wow just was told by a memeber of staff they have been made. How cool is that I want them all for a halloween party. Imagaine hiring Illumini to create your halloween party. I would be the most popular person on facebook- Billy no mates

Loved the spooky underground map I want it!

I cant believe this is all free. i would seriously pay for this experience again- thanks so much- Pascale

It was brilliant. I loved the scary things – Eva aged 4 (written by her mum)

Very enjoyable and creepy atmosphere- Kevin

Opening night was not as busy as last year this was a huge bonus as got to see everything and the performances, Opening night was the best yet. Keep up the good work Illumini

Absolutely Great! Missing it already- Lee x

Great attention to detail some amazing pieces of work!

Stepping into another world, that which has been sheltered from todays pop culture An interesting and highly informative exposition. Thank You & look forward to the following events- Rudi Cole

Fantastic Thanks everyone, really great night x – Anna Pearce

Spoke with the curator what an interesting conversation. Well done Jane

Great idea and beautifully displayed. Loved it!- Olivia

Truely Incredible Absolutely loved it . – Andrew

Dear Jane, Just wanted to drop you an email, to thankyou for inspiring my son, we have been trying for sometime to find out what he would like to do at school with his subjects. Nothing ever seems to inspire him. I suppose a typical teenager. Well you did! He has not stopped speaking about your work. He now wants to be a prop maker and make electronic props. Thank you for spending the time to talk to him. I could see you was very busy, but you went out of your way to show him how the rocking chair worked. I hope one day you will get what you deserve for all your free community spirit and hard work.
Thank You Silvia (Marks Mum)

Loved the Victorian Chemist, and the sense of humor of the artist that created it. Damien Hurst eat your heart this is what you call art!

Great unexpected Diversion! More please- Dom Maguire

Very good exhibition well put together, the curtain in the bar was partically interesting, shame about dim lighting- Also like the glass men with the balls V Cool

Excellent Jane. Hope you can show your art else where too . Well done-Brenda

I vote the corset work- Its gorgeous x- Scarlett

Lots of fun! Very different and really well put together.

Amazing research I heard one person did the lot. Well done- Alan

Was not sure what to expect, but this was beyond anything I could of ever dreamed off. It was my birthday today and Illumini has made it the best ever.

Dear Jane, I just thought I’d add another note to the pile I’m sure you’ll have received already, saying how good I thought the ‘Illumini’ event was. 
It wasn’t quite what I had expected, but was all the better for it; I’m very glad I was able to catch it.  I came away with a bundle of business cards and a catalogue, with a load of artists that I intend to keep an eye on in future.  (Whether I’ll be able to afford any of their work is a different thing…)
Thanks again, and well done.  I hope that the exhibition was as successful for you as it seemed to be for us.
Best wishes, Aaron

Thanks for another great series of talks last night. Roll on next year! Regards Sue Williams

Sponsor for Illumini Event 2012

Arts Council England funded by the national lottery, have kindly chosen to be part of Illumini Event 2012. Arts Council England is the national development agency for the arts in England, distributing public money from the Government and the National Lottery, for further details of the projects they fund or for funding information please visit

The Brunel Museum is an the Brunel Engine House in Rotherhithe . The Engine House was designed by Sir Marc Isambard Brunel to be part of the infrastructure of the Thames Tunnel .It held steam-powered pumps used to extract water from the tunnel. The Museum is located close to Rotherhithe station on what was the East London Line.

The Coffin Company offers a very unique and personal service. Coffins as individual or unique as you can imagine. We have a wide range of designs already available in our existing library. They can be combined with any of our caskets to create a coffin design perfectly reflecting your loved ones life, hobbies and interests. All of our bespoke coffins are carefully designed by hand and all the materials involved are environmentally friendly. For more details please visit

Dickens World is a tourist attraction in Kent celebrating the life and works of the legendary author Charles Dickens. A multi-sensory, interactive experience where you can leave behind the modern world and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of nineteenth- century England. Enjoy a journey of discovery as you meet some of Dickens’ most familiar and best loved characters, all bought to life by a host of captivating shows and state of the art effects.

El wire Craft is based in the Uk, assisting creative and practical projects using these versatile materials. We offer advice and supply useful and quality electroluminescent products worldwide. EL WIre, EL Tape and EL Panels are fantastic eco and creative materials and hope we can help you use them to make a wonderful creation.

Illumini’s ‘Dickensian Haunting’s’ will be experienced by Energizer lanterns & torchlight. Energizer brings power to Illumini and battery operated artworks will be powered by Energizer batteries. Illumini would like to thank Energizer’s continued support for all our free community, subterranean experiences to date. Giving the whole experience a fun and safe experience for all.

Big thanks goes to Greene King, for their support with this event, they kindly donated us with a beer pump for our haunted bar. A personal fan of their beers, if ever you want a lovely day out, take a trip to the picturesque town of Bury St Edmunds and pop into their Visitors centre, with museum and shop and also great brewery tours.

We are delighted to have KAVE Theatre Services supporting our community projects once again. They can provide lighting, sound, effects equipment, rigging and even special effects, make up, for stage and film.

Lee Filters continuous support over the years has enhance the lighting and effects at our events for everyone to enjoy. At LEE Filters we are proud to say that we have earned and kept our reputation as the worlds leading manufacturer of lighting and camera filters by constantly looking ahead. Our company culture is one of continuous research and development, ensuring that we continue to provide high quality products for the film, television, theatre, architectural lighting and stills photography markets.

A series of pocket size self-guided London walks help you explore the Historical, Cultural and Hidden sights of London. Follow in the footsteps of London’s most famous celebrities such as Jack the Ripper, William Shakespeare, Princess Diana and The Beatles. Louis London Walks will not only guide you to all the famous sites in London, but also take you to the hidden, infamous and “off the beaten track” sites that are not found in the tourist guides.

Longvalley Packaging Limited has kindly supported Illumini again, with donating Polystyrene, for Illumini artist to carve and use at this event for props and artwork. They are the largest Expanded Polystyrene packaging product manufacturer in East London and are the only company to manufacture moulded EPS products in London.

Marine Studios have kindly sponosreed Illumini artist Gudrun Sigridur Haraldsdottir. Marine Studios is a Community Interest Company based in Margate, Kent. We are a creative hub, committed to supporting artistic practice and enabling cultural participation. We use our project space to host regular events showcasing multi-disciplinary art and craft as well as leading our own community based projects.

Since re-opening seven years ago, under the leadership of an independent Trust, Shoreditch Town Hall has established itself as the vibrant cultural and events venue in the heart of Shoreditch.

Smiffy’s have generously sponsored Illumini in kind, with some of their new Steam Punk range costumes. Smiffy’s is one of the leading fancy dress companies in the UK today. The heart of Smiffy’s business lies in the core manufacture and distribution of costumes, accessories and wigs .

Victorian Adverts, is a supplier of original Victorian and Edwardian Adverts. All adverts are Guaranteed over 100 years old. They are the original items from publications of the period, future heirlooms for your family. A fantastic Web site and great prices. Old adverts make fantastic wall art, to frame and hang up, also make unusual present for someone. The Company are very helpful with great historical knowledge on the subject.

Photographs are copyrighted . Thanks to photographers Nick Hooper, Wonkyborders, Baetty Zapata, Cecile Dubuis, Steve Kenny

Back to top