Sculpture in the City, the dynamic yearly public art exhibition in the City of London, returns this summer with a selection of contemporary art pieces placed in and around the Square Mile. Launching on the 9 July, the exhibition will include works from internationally renowned artists including Damien Hirst, Sigalit Landau, and Bruce Beasley. In addition, an Ai Weiwei work will be installed in September to coincide with the Royal Academy’s much anticipated exhibition of this celebrated artist.
Now in its fifth year, the Sculpture in the City initiative aims to enhance our urban environment with cutting-edge contemporary works from leading artists. Set amongst London’s iconic architectural landmarks, such as Norman Foster’s Gherkin, The Leadenhall Building (aka The Cheesegrater), and the Lloyd’s building by Richard Rogers, this open-air exhibition not only enriches the workday experience of City workers but draws cultural visitors into this most ancient part of the city.
This year a total of fifteen works are set to transform the EC3 insurance area. Historic Leadenhall Market will again be used as a dramatic backdrop, when Adam Chodzko’s Ghost (2010), a 22 foot wooden kayak, is suspended from the ceiling of the ornate Victorian structure. The view of Damien Hirst’s monumental Charity (2002-2003), nearly seven metres tall, will be framed by St. Helen’s Church and Gherkin, whilst Japanese artist Tomoaki Suzuki’s miniature figures, modelled after real Londoners, will playfully populate the Gherkin plaza.
Two works by Kris Martin will be on show this year- Bells II (2014) will be displayed publicly for the first time on the corner of Bishopsgate and Wormwood Street, and Altar (2014) also features on New York City’s The High Line.
Participating artists for Sculpture in the City 2015 are: Ekkehard Altenburger (Germany); Bruce Beasley (USA); Adam Chodzko (UK); Ceal Floyer (UK); Laura Ford (UK); Damien Hirst (UK); Shan Hur (Korea); Folkert de Jong (Netherlands); Sigalit Landau (Israel); Kris Martin (Belgium); Keita Miyazaki (Japan); Tomoaki Suzuki (Japan); Xavier Veilhan (France); and Ai Weiwei (China).
Free family events and tours will be held during the Archikids Festival, 25-26 July, and Open House London, 19-20 September.
Complementary educational workshops, run by Open-City, will inspire schoolchildren from the local area before and after the project installation. Held in the iconic towers of the area, including The Leadenhall Building, and around the artwork sites, from St Botolphs to Great St Helen’s, and the Gherkin area down to Leadenhall Market, the programming will aid community engagement with the artworks and their surroundings.
Vivienne Littlechild, Chairman of the City of London’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said: ‘I am delighted that the Square Mile will be coming alive this year with another collection of visually engaging and thought-provoking sculptures from leading contemporary artists. Now in its fifth year, Sculpture in the City has become a very successful partnership between the City of London Corporation, local businesses and the art world. City workers, residents and visitors are often stopped in their tracks when they see the sculptures, and it is a joy to watch how they interact with them.’
Robert Hiscox, Honorary President of Hiscox, said: ‘With 15 different artworks this year, Sculpture in the City goes from strength to strength. Love them or hate them, they will enliven your emotions and make walking round the City a better experience. I thank the artists who have lent the works and congratulate the Corporation for enabling this thoroughly worthwhile venture’.
Victoria Thornton, Founding Director of Open-City, commented: ‘The aims of Open-City and Sculpture in the City are one and the same- creating a better built environment for communities to engage with. With this year’s programming, we are excited to again be helping children not only connect with their urban surroundings and some great architecture, but to learn about art at the same time’.
Sculpture in the City is a unique collaboration between the City of London Corporation (the elected body which looks after the Square Mile global business district), local businesses, and the art world, providing the opportunity for new audiences to engage with established and emerging contemporary artists. The initiative is delivered through a partnership between 22 Bishopsgate, 30 St Mary Axe, Aon, Aviva, British Land, Brookfield Office Properties, Hiscox, Tower 42, Willis, and WRBC Development UK Limited, with the additional support of project patrons MTEC, Leadenhall Market, and Price & Myers.
‘Sculpture in the city’ is on display in the City of London – 9 July 2015 to May 2016.