Sculpture in the City is a series of installations in public spaces. They are a part of an outreach education programme sponsored by city businesses. In a number of workshops school students have creatively engaged with the sculptures, not only giving the students an opportunity to discover new places in the City of London but also to learn about the value of public art. There are 14 sculptures scattered around the City and I have chosen a selection for you to see. I have included an explanation of the sculpture taken in essence from information boards sited near the sculptures.
Broken Pillar by Shan Hur.
In his sculptures, Hur likes to incorporate found objects, usually relevant to its location. The location here is St Helen's Churchyard. There has been a church on this site since the 13thC and its neighbours nowadays are the Gherkin and other high rise office blocks. The artist encourages the viewer to question the world around them and the objects hidden within.
Charity by Damien Hirst.
This is a 22 foot bronze sculpture based on The Spastic Society's (now called Scope) charity collection box which was commonly found outside local chemists and shops in the 1960s and 1970s. Hirst's version has been vandalised and a number of coins lie on the ground next to the crow bar.
Carson, Emma, Takashi, Zezi, Nia by Tomoaki Suzuki
Japanese artist Tomoaki has moved away from traditional Japanese tradition of woodcarving and has executed these figures in painted bronze which is a first for him. Using his experience of living in London he has created these detailed figures of urban youth at one third their actual size( personally I think this is incorrect as they looked more like one tenth of actual size). Because of their size the artist felt he could focus his attention on the figures in a way that would not be possible on a larger scale.
Organisms of control by Keita Miyazaki
After witnessing the 2011 tragedy Miyazaki wanted to create artworks out of rubble with sculptures pointing to a new beginning. The artist marries traditional Japanese techniques with parts of old car engines to create a new visual universe. This sculpture also includes sound which took a little while for me to realise. (I assumed it was from a nearby coffee shop). The jingles you hear are original compositions inspired by music played in Japanese supermarkets; sounds of Tokyo and London; tunes played in the Tokyo public transport system. Miyazaki wanted to create a geographical connection between London and Japan.
Altar by Kris Martin
This is a metal replica of the multi panelled, 15th C Ghent Altarpiece by Herbert and Jan Van Eyck. Also known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb it is located in the Cathedral of St Bavo in Ghent. The artist has only reproduced the frame leaving out the twelve folding panels. Rather than marvelling at the painted religious scene in which flora,fauna and figures are painted with astonishing accuracy and brilliant colours, we are invited to look through an open structure at the real world beyond.
'O my friends, there are no friends' by Sigalit Landau
Laudau 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'. Real laces, soft and vulnerable link together pairs of bronze shoes.
This piece is part of Veilhan's series 'Rays' Other pieces in this series have been installed in Marseille (France), Los Angeles (USA), Murcia (Spain) and Tokyo (Japan). The artwork, frames and questions the views of the City opened up by recent construction activity.