Sculpture In The City
For the next 12 months there are artworks by world-famous artists on the streets of the City of London for Sculpture in the City. It is a free outdoor exhibition and you can see all eight pieces in under an hour so it’s a fun reason to explore this area of London.
I’d recommend starting from Liverpool Street Station and this is the first artwork you’ll find:
These city workers don’t seem to have noticed the famous artwork right behind them. I wonder what they’re looking at. Anyway, here’s another photo of Love by Robert Indiana:
Really great, isn’t it? When you’ve enjoyed this first one cross over at the lights and turn right and then turn left just before Bishopsgate Tower (a building site) for a cut through to the Gherkin. Before you reach 30 St Mary Axe (the address and the ‘proper’ name for the Gherkin) you’ll find three more of the artworks. The first took some detective work and I think we can safely say this is the strangest bench in London:
But surely the actual seat is missing? Has an artwork been stolen? Not in this CCTV covered district, this is how the artwork is supposed to look. Yeah, I’m not sure about this one either. Here’s another picture of ‘Bench’ that you can’t sit on:
Turn around and you’ll see a sculpture that has the best name of the lot: More Really Shiny Things That Don’t Really Mean Anything.
And here’s a close up of those unimportant shiny things:
I mentioned there are three artworks in this area but where is the other? I was glad I looked on the official website before heading out as I knew to look up but I didn’t know it was going to be that high!
So what is it up there that’s attached to the building? Here’s a close-up:
Yes, they are kitchen chairs. Artists, eh?
Now walk over to the Gherkin and you won’t fail to miss the huge corten steel dinosaurs which were the first large scale outdoor sculpture project created by brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman in 2007.
There are three dinosaurs (there’s one behind the seven metre high T-Rex) but I liked this angle to photograph.
Look across to the Lloyd’s Building and you’ll pass two more artworks before you reach there. The first is by Antony Gormley and involves two of his famous people sculptures, leaning outwards.
I thought it might be good to highlight the sculptures in that busy photograph. I waited ages to be able to see them both as I was there on a weekday lunchtime which is a busy time for city workers.
The other artwork here is String Quintet:
In all the madness of the previous artworks this one stood out the least to me. Maybe it would be good to see again when it’s leaving interesting shadows.
The last artwork is just past the Lloyd’s Building and is another by Robert Indiana.
I do think his large bright style works well as outdoor artwork in the City. These pieces were only installed last week but it was good to see they are being cared for. Yeah, number three is my favourite number too.
Sculpture in the City is well worth an hour of anyone’s time. You can find out more at cityoflondon.gov.uk/sculptureinthecity.
If you visit soon you can also catch the City of London Festival which has over 100 free events this summer including this kind of thing:
Yes, they were painting the trees ultramarine blue outside St Paul’s Cathedral! It was for Trees for Cities (more info).
If you’d like to spend more time in the City there are plenty of great hotels in the City of London and it’s really quiet in the evenings and at the weekends.