Returning for another year, contemporary work of 10 internationally-renowned artists will be installed in the heart of the Square Mile, City of London. Suitable for a wide audience of all ages, the open air exhibition ends May 2015.
Day off? Heading to London? Savour a sculpture exhibition in the Square Mile
The fine English weather has been cooperating as of late, so what better plan for an afternoon of culture-hopping than to enjoy an exhibition of large-scale art under the sunshine. Armed with a vague map on a smart-phone, off to London we went, my brother and I, to seek out Sculpture in the City [SITC], starting from our exit from the Underground at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Of course, this monument to the firefighters of WWII isn’t part of the Sculpture in the City exhibition, but it’s a lovely testament to the soldiers that stayed behind to protect London during the Blitz.
The first artwork we found included in SITC was the pair of works with interlocking rings by Nigel Hall, which seemed to work perfectly next to the black-and-steel Lloyd’s building with its “inside-out” architecture.
The next work we found was Nigel Hall’s “Kiss”, two 3-D shapes in bright red enamel. This seems to be a great place for people to eat lunch, as the cone makes a perfect back rest.
This imposter is almost convincing as a SITC 2014 entrant – even if it is made of over 200,000 LEGO(c) pieces. I suspected that this might be Nathan Sawaya’s work – but no, the LEGO(c) Gherkin was built by a number of volunteer brick enthusiasts in August 2013.
This trio of marble “Shapes in the Clouds” by Peter Randall-Page were tucked away in a little forecourt.
“High Wind IV” is Lynn Chadwick’s first of two pieces in SITC, this one right next to the Gherkin, presenting a lady with the wind up her skirt. Unclear if she is enjoying the experience.
I’m not sure how the titles relate to Julian Wild’s steel works, one of them clinging to the side of a building at Broadgate Street; he states that his inspiration comes from “perennial plants that are found readily in the British countryside” which he transforms into urban forms.
We nearly missed Paul Hoskin’s work dangling from a tree; perhaps because of the unfortunate timing of building works going on right underneath.
Lynn Chadwick’s second piece, “Stairs” with two women on steps, alternately ascending and descending, both with surreal pyramids for heads, was delightfully creepy. Maybe it’s a comment on working women, with pointy hats to break any glass ceilings?
Jim Lambie’s “Secret Affair” was one of my favourites. The highly polished stainless steel portal blended into the environment, and created a stark shadow at the same time, creating an almost desperate desire to pass through it like a tiny Alice-in-Wonderland.
The last on our list, it took us a little bit of time to find Cerith Wyn Evans’ “Time here becomes Space, Space here becomes Time’ and Richard Wentworth’s “False Ceiling”. Both included clues that suggested, LOOK UP! – of course, it was obvious once the site-specific installations were spotted.
We never did find the 12th artwork (and found out later that it had been removed some weeks previous). All-in-all, it turns out art-hunting is a thoroughly enjoyable sport, even for amateurs. A highly recommended activity, especially if the sun’s out!
The artists in Sculpture in the City 2014/2015: Lynn Chadwick, Cerith Wyn Evans, Antony Gormley, Nigel Hall, Paul Hosking, Jim Lambie, Ben Long, Peter Randall-Page, Richard Wentworth, and Julian Wild.
More links and information about Sculpture in the City
- Read about the annual Sculpture in the City programme in the City of London.
- View/download Sculpture in the City 2014/2015 location map [PDF]
- “Bankers need Love-art too – Sculpture in the City 2013“ – 15 August 2013 – kelise72.com
Exhibition details: “Sculpture in the City” sees 14 outdoor public artworks by 10 artists situated in the “Square Mile” of the City of London from Spring 2014. Ends May 2015. Free to the public, step-free access. [Note: There are now 11 works to see as some have been removed.]