Annual Public Art Exhibition
Commissioned by City of London Corporation
Delivered with Lacuna since 2011
Opened June 2015
On view until Spring 2016
Sculpture in the City 5th Edition showcased 14 artworks, with the project area expanding to include the corner of Bishopsgate and Leadenhall Street (Laura Ford), setting the perimeter of the City Cluster as the location for all future Editions.
A highlight was Ai Wei Wei's artwork, Forever (2014), and his personal attendance, which took place shortly after his release from house arrest in China.
An art advisory group was formed to support the curatorial remit of the project. Open City continued to lead the Education Programme. 22 Bishopsgate joined as Project Partner and the expanding Patrons Group was joined by 6 Bevis Marks.
Sculpture in the City 5th Edition was a winner of the 2015 Civic Trust Award in the category called Pro-Dem, whose mission is to recognise temporary projects or installations that make a significant contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment.
530 x 520 cm
Kris Martin’s Altar is a metal replica of the multi-panelled, fifteenth-century Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck. Also known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, the work was seminal to the development of North Renaissance painting and the landscape genre, and is still visited by countless people each day in the Cathedral of Saint Bavo in Ghent, where it is located. The artist re-presents this famous work with a twist, however: he has reproduced only the frame, leaving it bereft of its painted panels. Rather than marvelling at the sumptuously painted religious scene, in which flora, fauna, and figures are depicted with astonishing accuracy and jewel-like colours, we are invited to look through an open structure to the real world beyond. In this way, Martin asks us to re-focus our attention on the cityscape we know so well, and to forge a new sense of curiosity, devotion and wonder from this humdrum, everyday view.
Location: St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Churchyard, London EC2M 3TL
Kris Martin’s work often consists of a presentation of found objects that have been altered or repositioned through minimal means. In Bells II, Martin conjoins two ornate church bells at the mouth, locking them into a symbolic kiss that carries with it the notion of silence, as sound can no longer escape from the hermetically sealed fusion. The artist’s fascination lies in the way such small rearrangements can dramatically alter how we see the world around us, and understand our place within it.
Location: Corner of Bishopsgate & Wormwood Street, London EC2M 3XD
Days of Judgement – Cats 1 & 2, 2012
160 x 230 x 100 cm, 200 x 160 x 160 cm
Laura Ford is well-known for her portrayals of animals, with which she explores aspects of the human condition. Her bronze sculptures presented here are from a recent series called ‘Days of Judgement’, for which her starting point was Masaccio’s fresco ‘The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden’ (1425) in the Brancacci Chapel, Florence. In Ford’s postlapsarian vision, however, Adam and Eve are reconfigured as a group of very tall, skinny cats. Pacing around in various states of deep thought, these cats appear like a group of existential poets gripped by their own inner anxieties; with their featureless faces they have an uncanny blankness onto which we can project our own fears and concerns.
Location: Bishopsgate o/s 150 Leadenhall Street, London EC3
Alaskan yellow cedar, western red cedar, Fijian mahogany, oak, ash, olive, walnut and mixed media
59 x 78 x 670 cm
Adam Chodzko’s, Ghost, is a kayak, a sculpture as vessel, a coffin and a camera rig. The kayak is designed to have a paddler in the back and a passenger in the front. The guest is reclined, stretched out like a body in a coffin. Through each journey for Ghost, the artist and the passenger are on a metaphorical journey to the Island of the Dead. A camera, mounted on the bows, records the journey of each passenger, thus creating an archive of their experience.
In Ghost Archive 2015, two journeys were made, both from Bankside to Deadman’s Hole. The first passenger was Karina Isajeva, a caterer at Hiscox, the second was Robert Hiscox, Honorary President of Hiscox.
Location: Leadenhall Market, London EC3A 6HX
Old DNA, 2014
210 x 80 x 70 cm
Dutch artist Folkert de Jong is internationally recognized for figurative sculptures that mine issues of empire, trauma and myth. Originating in a 3D scan of a suit of armor belonging to the aging Henry VIII in the permanent collection of the Royal Armouries in Leeds, Old DNA (2014) is a psychological portrait of power and the way it can endure and decay. As a public monument, it occupies a peculiar factual space: “the scene De Jong creates does not feel like an official history,” writes curator Sam Lackey of the Hepworth Wakefield Museum, “but rather a hidden or unseen moment—an uncovered conspiracy from the past.”
Location: 51 Lime Street, London EC3M &NP
Rays (London), 2015
rubber, polyester, steel, stainless steel, concrete
1200 x 600 x 150 cm (artwork), 150 x 75 cm (plinth)
This piece is part of Xavier Veilhan’s ongoing “Rays” Series. Designed for the Willis Plaza, this artwork frames and questions the views of the City opened up by recent construction activity. The artist has been working since 2011 on this on-going series of works formulated as a tribute to Jesús Rafael Soto and Fred Sandback. Dealing with the possibilities of representation and the question of display—two important issues in his practice—these works are immersive and optical environments that play with scale, light, shadows, and ephemeral architecture. They have been presented in numerous institutions and public spaces, including Le Corbusier’s “Cité Radieuse” in Marseille, Sheats Goldstein Residence in Los Angeles (USA), Hatfield House (UK), La Conservera in Murcia (Spain), and French architect Claude Parent’s Sainte-Bernadette-du-Banlay in Nevers (France).
Location: Fenchurch Avenue, London EC2
O My Friends, There Are No Friends, 2011
12 pairs of bronze shoes and laces
300 cm diameter
With ‘O my friends, there are no friends’ (2011), Sigalit Landau challenges the concept of monumental sculpture choosing a traditional material such as bronze to celebrate the future.
The pedestal on which the sculpture stand represents an anti-monument; real laces, soft and vulnerable, link together the pairs of bronze shoes. As Landau states, the work is “a commemoration of the future, when we will be able to slip into these shoes and be part of a community that will create a better history, with more solidarity, more generosity and regeneration”. This work was first shown in the Israeli pavilion at the 54° Venice Biennale in 2011. This will be the inaugural presentation of this work in the U.K.
Locations: St Helen's Square, London EC3V 4QT
Red Atlas, 2012
Red and black granite with rubber joints
15 cm (diameter) x 270 cm (height)
Red Atlas is part of the ongoing sculptural series Atalas that deals with the subject of balance. Red Atlas investigates our physical position in relation to the surrounding architecture. In previous works, Altenbuger has used the appearance of architecture – a fallen arch or tipped plinth. For the series he has stripped away the representational and made a sleek simple form from heavy architectural material. The sculpture leans gently on the wall, held firm by its shear weight; exploring the balance between object, architecture and ourselves, using this interplay to question the perception of our physical presence in an urban space.
Location: 30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8BF
Carson, Emma, Takashi, Zezi, Nia, 2012 / 2013
56 x 17.5 x 10 cm, 56.5 x 25 x 11 cm, 51 x 15 x 10 cm, 51 x 17 x 13.5 cm, 54 x 15.5 x 9 cm
Japanese artist Tomoaki Suzuki’s diminutive sculptures put a decidedly contemporary twist on the millennia-long tradition of Japanese woodcarving. Drawing on his life in London, Suzuki creates painstakingly detailed portraits of diverse urban youths at one-third their actual size. The five sculptures on view demonstrate a shift in the artist’s practice—they are his first works to be executed in bronze.
Location: 30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8BF
Organisms of Control #8, 2014
Car parts, resin, urethane colour, stainless steel, speaker system
330 x 115 x 70 cm
After witnessing the 2011 tragedy, Keita Miyazaki felt the need to create a new ‘utopian’ vision out of the ashes of the ‘dystopia’ in Japan: Artworks created out of the rubble; sculptures pointing forward to a new beginning. Miyazaki marries traditional Japanese techniques with parts of old car engines to create a completely new visual universe. The particularity of his sculptures is increased by sound, which emanates strategically from various points. The jingles heard vary from music played in Japanese supermarkets; sounds of Tokyo and London; to the tunes played in the Tokyo public transport system. Miyazaki’s wish is to create a geographical connection between London and Japan.
Location: Bury Court, London EC3A 8EX
1603 x 951 x 289.2 cm
Ai Weiwei’s groupings of stainless-steel bikes – configured in ever-expanding modular shapes and layers of geometrically stacked and fused individual frames, to create one larger structure – refer to the famous ‘Forever’ brand of bicycles that have been mass-manufactured in Shanghai since 1940. Once ubiquitous, this classic marque and indeed the perceived profusion of pushbikes on Beijing streets are now steadily dying out, to be replaced by cars. This irony is not lost on Ai or in the title of this series, which can incorporate as few as two bicycles and as many as 3,144. As in other works by Ai, not only does this multiplication suggest a congregation of people or a massing of humanity, but the underlying concepts of assembling, repeating and copying also play an important role, as does the lasting influence of Marcel Duchamp.
Location: London 30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8BF
Charity, 2002 / 2003
6858 x 2438 x 2438 cm
Charity (2002-2003) is a 22-foot bronze sculpture based on The Spastics Society’s (now Scope) charity collection box, which was commonly found outside local chemists and shops in the 1960s and 1970s. Aggrandised through scale and material, Hirst’s version has been vandalised and her contents emptied, a number of remaining coins lie on the ground next to a crow bar. Monumental yet vulnerable, the work plays on the art historical tradition of depicting the Virtue of Charity as a single female figure. The sculpture was originally installed in the park outside White Cube Hoxton Square London, as part of Romance in the Age of Uncertainty, Hirst’s solo exhibition at the Gallery in 2003.
Location: 1 Undershaft, London EC3A 6HX
Breakout II, 1992
145 x 229 x 61 cm
Bruce Beasley’s intersecting cuboid forms are reminiscent of natural crystalline structures, with sumptuous patinas adding to their organic essence. Perhaps surprisingly, Beasley’s sculptures originate in digital three-dimensional design software, which allows him to devise his forms without the constraints of gravity; the shapes are later cast into solid bronze. Beasley’s impressive arch Breakout II epitomises the sculptor’s talent to balance the tension between precision engineering and organic form.
Today Beasley is recognized as one of the most noteworthy and innovative sculptors on the American West Coast. His monumental work has been exhibited worldwide including at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 1995 and a major retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California in 2005.
Location: 1 Great St Helen's, London EC3A 6HX
Broken Pillar #12, 2015
Steel, concrete, ceramic and granite
32 x 32 x 302 cm
Site-specific installation Broken Pillar #12, is part of a body of work developed over the last five years, by Shan Hur. As part of the artist’s practice, Hur incorporates found objects, usually relevant to its location within these structures, encouraging the viewer to question the world around them and the objects hidden within it. Adapted to its surroundings at St Helen’s Churchyard, Broken Pillar #12 is a unique interpretation from the series, unveiled for the occasion. Hur’s previous public placements include ‘Berkeley’s tree’ – the façade of Berkeley Square House, London, UK and ‘A New Column for Manchester’ with the Arts Council of England – Manchester, UK, 2014.
Location: St Helen's Square, London EC3V 4QT
Sculpture in the City offers exciting opportunities for young people, aged 10 to 14, to engage with the City of London through an extensive educational programme, delivered the sixth consecutive year by Open City. Each calendar year, 200 local students – many from under-represented communities based in neighbouring boroughs – work with artists, architects and sponsor-company volunteers to discover new places in the city, learn about public art and and consider architecture and urban design as possible career paths.
• Christ Church Primary School, Tower Hamlets: Year 6 (10-11 year olds), 24 pupils
• St Matthias Primary School, Tower Hamlets: Year 6 (10-11 year olds), 29 pupils
• Sir John Cass’s Primary School, City of London: Year 6 (10-11 year olds), 28 pupils
• City of London Academy: Islington, Islington: Year 9 (13-14 year olds), 23 students
• Bethnal Green Academy, Tower Hamlets: Year 8 (12-13 year olds), 24 students
• Swanlea School, Tower Hamlets: Year 9 (13-14 year olds), 25 students
• Sir John Cass’s & Redcoat Secondary, Tower Hamlets: Year 8 (12-13 year olds), 20 students
• St Paul’s Way Trust School, Tower Hamlets: Year 9 (13-14 year olds), 22 students
• Haggerston School, Hackney: Year 9 (13-14 year olds), 25 students
• AON: 11 volunteers (x3) - partnered with St Matthias Primary & Sir John Cass Secondary
• Aviva: 9 volunteers - partnered with St Paul’s Way Trust
• British Land & Broadgate Estates: 8 volunteers - partnered with Christ Church & Swanlea
• Brookfield: 5 volunteers - partnered with Haggerston School
• City of London: 12 volunteers (x2 ) - partnered with Sir John & City of London Academy
• Hiscox: 4 volunteers - partnered with Bethnal Green Academy
• The Leadenhall Building (level 39) - 2 workshops hosted by British Land
• The Leadenhall Building (level 12) - 2 workshops hosted by Aon
• 6 Bevis Marks - 2 workshops hosted by Axa
• Tower 42 - 1 workshop hosted by Tower 42
• Moor Place - 1 workshop hosted by Brookfield
• St Helen’s Tower - 1 workshop hosted by Aviva
• Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners - 2 volunteers
• Fletcher Priest - 4 volunteers
• Make Architects - 4 volunteers
• RSH+P - The Leadenhall Building, attended 1 workshop with Swanlea School
• Fletcher Priest - 6 Bevis Marks, attended 2 workshops
• Make Architects - Moor Place, attended all 4 workshops with Haggerston School
• Laura Ford spoke to Sir John Cass Secondary students about her sculpture, ‘Day of Judgement’.
Drop-in community event took place next to the ‘Gherkin’. Over 450 children and adults actively participated in framing views and created a super-scale structure in response to Tomoaki Suzuki‘s artwork, Carson, Emma. Takashi, Zezi, Nia.
Drop-in community event took place next to the ‘Gherkin’. Over 300 children and adults actively participated in framing views and creating structures in response to Ai Weiwei's artwork, Forever.
Sculpture in the City 5th Edition was a winner of the 2015 Civic Trust Award in category of Pro-Dem, whose mission is to recognise temporary projects or installations that make a significant contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment.
6 Bevis Marks, Leadenhall Market, Mtec, Price & Myers
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