Sculpture In The City 2017

Sculpture In The City

Radioactive Framing with Karen Tangs 'Synapsid'

The City of London, bankers playground, financial world capital, some might say centre of world capitalism, but open air art gallery??

Well the rest of those titles might well be subjective, but open air art gallery is a definite. Sculpture In The City returns to the city for the 7th year running celebrating a stonking 70 Sculptures since it’s creation. I had the pleasure of attending the press briefing recently at Hiscox and experiencing a guided tour of some of the best pieces on offer.

16 intriguing works are dotted around the square mile for the intrepid explorer to stumble upon, or you can follow the handy maps if you prefer. Receiving over 120 submission alone this year, I was informed by the project curator that each piece is selected after panel discussion and positioned with the utmost care and planning. It was explained to me the curator had visited a site with Chilean artist Fernando Casasempere in the snow to find the best place for his work, an experience in which she bonded with the artist, this reveals the depth of the connection she enjoys creating with them.

The City is sometimes seen as inaccessible for a majority of art lovers. Corporate works hang in a number of buildings which are not available to the public, so to have this plethora of pieces available for the everyday worker, cyclist, cleaner and leisurely stroller to observe, digest and reflect upon is a real jewel.

My personal highlights of the collection are Karen Tangs ‘Synapsid’ a vivid green creation, reminiscent of a monstrous skull or organ. The sheer contrast of this almost luminous work against the steel and grey concrete of the city makes it pop. Its various holes and organic framing portals allow the viewer to really engage with the work. The artist explained that she felt it had an almost radioactive emanation as if from a science fiction novel.

‘Support for a cloud’ by Mhairi Vari located on and around the Lloyds building struck me as simple, delicate yet intriguing. The structures made of poly-tunnel repair tape and wire coat hangers, resembled the intricate structures of a coral reef. The juxtaposition of these airy creations against the solid industrial structure of Lloyds really allows their ethereal qualities to shine.

I do have a few other favourites but not wishing to spoil or deconstruct the pieces before you visit I will hold my tongue. Needless to say Damien Hirsts creation ‘Temple’ does not disappoint for sheer size and location. My advice to you if you wish to visit these wonderful sculptures, come on a Sunday, the city is virtually empty so much better to view and appreciate the work.

Straight from the horses mouth, Artist Mark Wallinger with his creation 'The Black Horse'
Fernando Casasempere passionately discussing his work 'Reminiscence'.