Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Sculpture In The City

From Regent's park to the square mile, on the trail of more modern sculpture. It is the seventh edition of Sculpture In The City - a programme enriching the financial district with public art. It is a unique area of London, a collision of ancient and modern, contrasting old stone buildings with contemporary towering glass and steel edifices. I really enjoyed wandering the back streets and encountering lovely hidden treasures such as this Victorian Turkish bathhouse below. It's such a pity that this level of ornate exterior decorative detail has been all but lost in most modern architecture.

I started the sculpture trail at St Botolph's church with Gavin Turk's mysterious portal - Ajar, which had materialised in their garden.

Ajar - Gavin Turk

The Black Horse - Mark Wallinger

A short walk brought me to Mark Wallinger's Black Horse, which rather appropriately looks like the Lloyd's Bank black horse symbol, let loose to roam in the streets of its spiritual financial home.

Work No. 2814 - Martin Creed

A few steps away to the south leads one to this piece by Martin Creed. Creed's work usually leaves me conflicted, but I love the poetry of these brightly coloured plastic bags caught in the foliage of this tree.

Tipping Point - Kevin Killen

This piece of sculpturally animated neon colour by Kevin Killen, is a much needed boost of colour in a very grey, austere environment.

I was surprised at how many ancient church buildings, and plaques to lost churches that I encountered on my walk. I can imagine that they are little havens of peace and quiet in lunch-breaks away from the stresses and strains of the floors of the large finance houses.

I accidently stumbled across St Dunstan-In-The-East church on my walk (above), whose gardens are a particularly beautiful and tranquil haven just by Lower Thames Street.

 Never Has There Been Such Urgency Or The Eloquent And The Gaga - (Alchemy Box #45) - Ryan Gander

Apple Tree Boy Apple Tree Girl - Paul McCarthy

One of my favourites of all of the sculptural installations. I loved both the huge scale, and the molten drippy textures of these larger than life-sized children's toys by Paul McCarthy at the base of 30 St Mary Axe, aka - the "Gherkin". A reminder that as important as making money and maintaining the economy are in the financial district, play and leisure time are just as vital, and a much needed balance to the pressures of solely accumulating money in the financial markets.

Black Shed Expanded - Nathaniel Racklow

This was another of my favourites of the impressive installations. It is set slightly apart from the others. I need to make a return journey to see it at night illuminating the surrounding space.

Two very nice architectural details at the base of the Gherkin building. It is so good that the spirits of the past are acknowledged and commemorated in the present.

Reminisce - Fernando Casasempere

 4 Colours At 3 Metres High Situated Work - Daniel Buren

I'm not so keen on what he has done at Tottenhan Court Road underground station, but I do like this little pavilion-like structure by Daniel Buren. The transparent coloured roof panels are again, another much needed shot of colour into this steely grey and glass environment.

Support For A Cloud - Mhairi Vari

These cocoon/wasps nest-like installations were mysteriously fascinating, and sinister, resembling viruses and alien entities, breeding on and colonising the Lloyd's building.

Dreamy Bathroom - Gary Webb

Temple - Damien Hirst

Untitled X3 - Bosco Sodi

These fiery, volcanic looking rocks by Bosco Sodi appear to reference to the Great Fire of London which began a short distance away in Pudding Lane.

Leadenhall Market is such a wonderful piece of architecture and serves as an ornate and decorative contrast to modern buildings such as the Leadenhall building, or "Cheesegrater" overshadowing it. Leadenhall Market is one of the capitals oldest markets dating from the 14th century, and stands on what was once the heart of Roman London. The current arcade structure was designed and built by Sir Horace Jones in 1881.

Falling Into Virtual Reality - Recycle Group

This installation took some finding as it is made from chicken wire, and is so light and ethereal that I kept walking past underneath, transfixed by the detail in the market building, before realising I had to look up to find it on the roof of the beautiful Leadenhall Market.

Envelope Of Pulsation - Peter Randall-Page

A further short walk to Fenchurch Street station saw me encounter the last two pieces on the sculpture trail. The Peter Randall-Page was a wonderfully creamy, tactile, textural block, and Karen Tang's Synapsid was a lovely radioactively neon bright blob. It was like a collaboration between pieces by Mirรณ and Niki de Saint Phalle. The skull and cross bones below were found on another church building. Sculpture In The City is was a great excuse to explore a really interesting historic area of London which I only usually just pass through or skirt. I fully intend to return for a further wander and deeper look.
Synapsid - Karen Tang

Sculpture In The City
until 1st May 2018
various locations 
City of London