I had fun on Sunday exploring the Tenth Sculpture in the City exhibition. It’s when the City of London’s insurance district becomes an open-air sculpture park. Everyone gets the opportunity to admire 19 unique sculptures by internationally acclaimed and emerging artists free of charge. Expect to see video installations, neon lights and sculptural objects. I did the entire tour on Sunday, which took about an hour. Besides looking at creative sculptures, the route took us to hidden squares and unfamiliar parts of the city. Many of the sculptures are near famous landmark buildings, so you get to admire those too. If you’re looking for free things to do in London, or you find yourself in the Square Mile, check out the Sculpture in the City exhibits. It’s open until Spring 2022, so you have plenty of time.
Latent Space by Jake Elwes
My Favourite Five Sculpture in the City Exhibits
All the exhibits were brilliant, so make sure you visit each one. I’ve picked out my favourite five to give you an idea of what to expect. I’d recommend that you note the buildings near each exhibit because it’s an excellent opportunity to appreciate the Square Mile skyscrapers (Heron Tower, The Gherkin, Lloyds Building, etc.) along with some historic gems. I’ll give you a short overview of the five sculptures I selected. Make sure you seek out the complete information on the stand next to each exhibit.
Silent Agitator by Ruth Ewan is a large clock based on an illustration by Ralph Chapin for industrial workers of the world union. It bears the words ‘What time is it? Time to orgainize.’ Being a super organised person, I loved this sculpture. The clock is to the side of 99 Bishopsgate, a commercial skyscraper that is 104 metres tall. Across the road, you can see Heron Tower at 110 Bishopsgate, a 230 metres tall commercial building that houses the famous SushiSamba restaurant.
Bloom Paradise by Jun T. Lai is outside Fenchurch Street Station. The sculpture symbolises hope and love in three parts with the transformation of the spirit and metaphor of a lotus in mind: Flower of Hope, Flower of the Sky and Flower of Life. It’s bright and beautiful and something cheerful to greet the commuters. Take note of the Fenchurch Street Station building which looks grand against the backdrop of glazed skyscrapers. The station 0pened in 1841 and was rebuilt in 1854 by George Berkley.
Burial by Alice Channer is clever because the two hollow rocks are roughly the length of a human body lying down as if buried. You’ll find the sculpture on the grounds of St Botolph without Bishopsgate Churchyard. The present church was designed by James Gould under the supervision of George Dance, with work completed in 1729. The grounds are tranquil, with benches to sit down and a water feature.
Orphans by Bram Ellis is at Callum Street. The artist collected old ‘orphaned’ paintings from deceased people and gave them a new life. When people pass away, their belongings are often thrown away by the heirs. The building behind the sculpture is a beauty, and I’d never seen it before. It’s called Bolton House, a 1900s art nouveau design. It’s such a treat to encounter a stunning historic building amongst the skyscrapers.
Symbols by Guillaume Vandame is a series of flags hung at Leadenhall Market. The flag installation consists of thirty colourful flags from the LGBTQ+ Community. Admire the flags from the front and back to get the full impact. Leadenhall Market dated to 1321 when it was a meat, poultry and game market. Today it is home to boutiques, restaurants, cafes, wine bars and pubs.
Tenth Sculpture in the City Exhibition Information
For more information about the current and past exhibitions, visit the Sculpture in the City website. I’d also recommend downloading the free Bloomberg Connects App. The sculpture route has numbers for each piece, so you can follow it to avoid missing out on an exhibit.
Cosmos by Eva Rothschild
We started our tour by meeting at Liverpool Street Station and eating at Spitalfields Market, open on Sunday. Another option is to pop into Eataly, a prominent Italian food hall with restaurants outside Liverpool Street Station. During the week, you may wish to eat at Leadenhall Market. Read my Ten Things to do in the City of London article for more information about the area. There are various stations to travel to and from, including Liverpool Street, Fenchurch Street, Monument and Bank. I hope you enjoy the tour as much as I did.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. The feature image show Reactivity by Regitze Engelslborg Karlsen.