We’re delighted once again to be supporting the City of London’s annual public art exhibition, Sculpture in the City. From 27 June until May next year, London’s square mile will play host to 18 artworks from internationally renowned artists including Sarah Lucas, Thomas J Price, Sean Scully and Nancy Rubins and will also introduce three new commissioned works. The City’s iconic architectural landscape provides a unique backdrop to the artworks which celebrate its creative spirit and history. The artworks will be displayed close to some of the City’s most famous buildings, including 30 St Mary Axe (‘the Gherkin), The Leadenhall Building (the ‘Cheesegrater’), as well as in four new locations for this year including historic corners of the City, Heneage Lane and Hartsthorn Alley.
This year marks the centenary of female suffrage and to celebrate nine of the artworks have been created by emerging and established female international artists, supported by the City of London Corporation’s Women: Work & Power campaign.
Three new artworks by female artists will be exhibited for the first time, including two commissions and one new site-specific work which is part of a series. Jyll Bradley's Opening the Air in St Helen's Square, is a three dimensional drawing made up of a field of fluorescent Plexiglas etchings. In Leadenhall Market, Amanda Lwin presents A Worldwide Web of Somewheres, a textile map of the City of London with lines that highlight the underground infrastructure in the City, which follows on from her series Capricious Cartography. Finally, Clare Jarrett, will display Sari Garden, a work consisting of lengths of vibrant Indian sari material hanging between Victorian lampposts.
Two sound projects represent a new venture for this year’s exhibition, challenging the idea of public art. Marina Abramovic’s Tree (1972) will present visitors with the sound of birdsong, with an insistent, distorted repetition, enclosed within a tree at 99 Bishopsgate. Miroslaw Balka’s ‘The Great Escape,’ the second sound piece, will be located in Hartsthorn Alley and will feature the iconic film’s theme tune being whistled repeatedly, each time providing a slightly different rendition.
The shifting landscape of the City is a theme reflected throughout this year’s exhibition. Thomas J Price’s arresting Numen (Shifting Votive Three) is situated directly outside our London office and is one of a series of three. The large cast aluminium heads evoke the ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian traditions of monumental sculpture in a depiction of the twenty-first century social subject, fashioned from the same material as MacBooks and coke cans, cars and planes. Shaun C Badham’s I’M STAYING (2014), a neon artwork situated in Leadenhall Market, is a unique fit mirroring the historic market’s resilience over the centuries as the landscape around it has changed.
Hiscox has supported the project since it began in 2011 and Bobby Read, Hiscox’s Head of Art and Private Clients, says what started out as a small experimental project has now become one of the most talked-about events in London’s art calendar:
“I love looking at art and think the collaboration that has made Sculpture in the City happen is an act of pure genius. We can now be happily distracted and stimulated as we wander the square mile, it is a boon to those who work here and a magnet to those who are visiting – long may it continue.”
Another first for 2018 takes place on Saturday 30 June with the first ever ‘City Sculpture Fest’. Visitors to the Square Mile can discover the sculptures with tours, trails and a range of other festivities. Part of the official programme of London Festival of Architecture, visitors will be invited to explore the theme of identity through history, urban grain, scale, sculpture and ever changing skyline.
For more information and to find out about public tours visit: www.sculptureinthecity.org.uk.