Alexa Pearson, freelance producer and one of the driving forces behind the electrifying Lights of Soho, gives us the inside story on this cultural hub for Soho’s creative community and the global home of creative neon and light art formats.
Why neon lights? Tell us about where your interest started and how it has developed.
Neon art was to a degree under-represented as an art form in the UK until Lights of Soho opened in 2014.
Neon is not just considered a medium for businesses to attract custom through their windows anymore (although it does still do so!). Artists are bending neons in the most interesting ways and using it to create visually stimulating pieces that often deliver powerful messages.
“Artists are bending neons in the most interesting ways and using it to create visually stimulating pieces that often deliver powerful messages.”
Lights of Soho aims to recapture the artistic spirit of ‘old Soho’ – what do you mean by this and how has this been achieved?
Old Soho was full of character; you had the porn shops and the brothels alongside independent stores and restaurants, not to mention it was filled with cheeky bright neons predominantly made by the Bracey’s. Everyone knew everyone and supported one another.
Now Soho is fighting to survive London’s gentrification, rising rent prices and encroaching legal restrictions. However it’s the institutions like The Soho Society, Save Soho, Soho Radio, Berwick Street London and Lights of Soho that are keeping that Old Soho alive.
“Light art just has a certain energy that attracts positivity, warmth and fun and its community reflects that.”
There is a real community around the neon art world – please tell us about this.
Light art just has a certain energy that attracts positivity, warmth and fun and its community reflects that. It’s an extremely supportive, tight-knit community that all know one another and have a strong passion for light!
And on that note tell us more about your membership offering.
Lights of Soho is open as a gallery from 10am till 6pm, thereafter the space becomes exclusive to its members.
Members not only get access to our neon wonderland after hours, but they can attend the carefully curated program of events that we put on. This includes exhibition private views, live music & DJ’s, live in-conversations, launches and more.
You can apply for membership on our website.
In your opinion who is the most inspirational neon artist and why?
Generally speaking an artist such as Tracy Emin has done a lot to inspire neon artists out there.
My top inspirational light artists at the moment would have to be Robert Montgomery, Lauren Baker and Shezad Dawood, to name a few!
Tell us which is your favourite neon city and why?
Las Vegas is definitely one of the best neon cities in the world. It’s bright, bold and beautiful.
More info on the Lights of Soho