Help put Cally Bridge name in lights

People who live and work around The Cally are being offered the chance to make their mark on a unique public lighting installation.

The striking artwork design, which is set to illuminate the Cally Bridge, is the concept of renowned artist Phil Coy whose ethereal work incorporates language, film and light often in relation to the built environment.

His work has been shown internationally, recently at London's Whitechapel Gallery and South London Gallery with a forthcoming film made specifically for Greenwich's Planetarium. He is currently artist in residence at space exploration technology company RAL Space.

People with ties to the iconic bridge and the surrounding area are being asked to choose and name their own colours to feature in the Cally Colour Chart, which has been commissioned by Islington Council with funding coming from Transport for London. People are asked to name their colour with something that reminds them of the area.

When the installation goes live in the Autumn, the chosen colour names will appear on a dot matrix screen at the same time as the colour is projected on the underside of the bridge. Colour changes will be triggered by cars passing under the tunnel and the trains that run over it, if the council’s planning committee give the project the green light.

People can choose a colour online at or at this year’s Cally Festival, and through a series of workshops with children at Robert Blair Primary School, in Brewery Road, N7 and Copenhagen Primary School in Treaty Street, N1.

Phil said:  "What really excites me about the Cally Colour Chart is that it will be self-determined by the people who live and work in the area, the same people who will ultimately see the work. Self-determination seems particularly relevant on the Caledonian Road which has an unusually diverse range of independent businesses and shops. The Cally Colour Chart will become a very literal celebration of that most human desire to attach names to things, or to try and describe what we perceive, even if what that is, is as abstract and unquantifiable as coloured light. At the same time, this open invitation to choose and name colours, is a simple way to subvert those familiar colour charts used in architecture, fashion, design and other industries, that seek to brand and determine our unique experience of colour. The names people come up with will mark a moment in time amongst London's ever shifting cultural and architectural landscape."

The project was chosen as part of an initiative to further enhance and bring focus to Cally Bridge as a distinctive landmark. It will form the centrepiece of a wider programme of planned improvements aimed at giving the area a more welcoming and attractive feel.

The website includes images of the lighting scheme design and gives residents the opportunity to respond and comment on the project.  A twitter feed @callylightpoem will also share updates on the colours and names being proposed by residents.

Cllr Paul Convery, Caledonian ward councillor, said: “The Cally Bridge is an iconic centrepiece to our local community and this project will give local people the chance to make their mark on it. We want to hear from as many people as possible so it can be something all local people can be proud of.”

David Rowe, head of borough projects and programmes at TfL, said: "This exciting art project by Islington Council will help brighten up this bridge and become a focal point for years to come. We are delighted to be able to provide funding for this as part of our wider investment into improving access across London and can't wait to see the suggestions the public put forward." 

Entries are welcome until midnight on 5 July.


Contact information

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please view the contact information on our website or call 020 7527 2000.