“All I want for Christmas is… JOY”: An interactive art installation exploding with holiday spirit


This December, JOY Bomb London (artist Amy Broch) invites Londoners to peel themselves away from the cold, grey streets and heavy skies of 2020, to press their noses against the warm glass of the JOY Bomb purple pocket of the universe. Broch has created a playful art installation where whimsical characters become alive and interact with the public, to create joy bombs, an artistic equivalent to photo bombing.

Drawing inspiration from childhood nostalgia, pop culture, and the irreverent contents of Broch’s shimmering candy-coated brain, this pop-up encourages the public to connect and enjoy a little silliness and laugh away the worries that 2020 brought.

The drive behind each multi-sensory installation is to make the memorable moments happy ones. Many Scientists believe that a good laugh is a break for your brain; it can restore hope and revive optimism.

“JOYcember is a special time when doubts and fears melt away with love and hope and…..balloons!’’  says Broch who created JOY bomb after her husband Sean was diagnosed in 2018 with ALS. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a neurological disease that involves the nerve cells that are responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movements such as walking and talking. 

Learning that happiness was linked to better treatment outcomes and longevity for ALS patients was a big moment. Suddenly, the colourful, playful installations Amy had been creating and experimenting with for years had a greater significance – JOY Bomb London was born, and its creative mission became FUN for FUN’s sake. 

Proceeds from every installation support the Healey Center for ALS in memory of Sean, who passed in May of 2020. It is the largest hospital-based research program in the world and supports early stage trials of promising ALS treatments.

This limited-time-only pop-up art installation on London’s prestigious Brook Street offers a welcome break from reality. It’s blueberry spirit, and helium-light delights whisk the viewer away to a friskier place: a world where fruity desserts nestle into pink and purple fur, balloons are super-sized, and lilac reigns supreme.

Evoking a feeling of happiness, “All I want for Christmas is… JOY” complies with the social distancing measures in place across London throughout December. Offering locals the chance to step outside their homes and experience an art installation exploding with holiday spirit.

The installation itself can be viewed from the street at all hours, while on Friday and Saturdays, live actors will bring the installation to life, engaging the public all at a safe distance of 2m. Kitted out in their JOY Bomb attire, they embody all things JOY Bomb in human form, furthering the artist’s message of Joy during this holiday season like no other.

The installation was created in collaboration with Illuminate Productions – a London-based non-profit art organisation, commissioning and producing contemporary art in unusual yet accessible environments, with direct public interaction. Over the past 15 years, they have commissioned, curated, and produced more than 250 exhibitions and events. To find out more head to www.illuminateproductions.co.uk.